About Coach T & Her Girls
In the summer of 2012, Tamika "Coach T" Townsend of Louisville, KY, founded the all-girls Kentucky Fillies Elite Track Club, with the hopes of empowering girls and teens through sports. The results have been amazing. Many of the girls, ranging from ages 8 to 18, have won races at the regional and national levels.
The motherly bond Coach T forms with her young runners is what she cherishes most. She is a single mother of three who works as a high school track coach at Ballard High School. With the spare time she has left, she devotes her energy to cultivating the young girls on her indoor and outdoor track teams.
In addition to training the girls to be top runners, Coach T feels as though the life lessons she is teaching them are equally rewarding. "Some of them have never been out of Louisville," Coach T says. "Some of them have never stayed at a hotel or even just had a sit-down dinner until they got with me. That's something that just makes me love what I do, to introduce them to things that people just take for granted."
At track meets her girls consistently win heats in various races at almost every age group. The team's success, however does require support. Coach T and parents with girls on the team have to fundraise to pay for travel expenses. And because many of the parents work long hours, they cannot be as active with the team as they would like. This leaves Coach T working with the girls alone in most cases. And yet, her girls consistently qualify to compete at the AAU Junior Olympic Games each season since she started the Kentucky Fillies.
Coach T says it is critical that the girls compete at big races because of the national attention they will receive. Moreover, excelling on such a high level will help Coach T build the reputation needed to continue helping more young girls earn college scholarships.
"This is something I am very passionate about," Coach T says. "I ran track through high school and college. I had a good coach that picked me up and droppefd me off. I pick up at least two girls everyday. I feel like somebody did it for me, so this is my calling."