'Sisters on Track': Inspirational Coach Turns Homeless Girls Into Athletics Stars

'Sisters on Track': Inspirational Coach Turns Homeless Girls Into Athletics Stars

  • Coach Jean Bell is inspiring change in the lives of many young women by teaching them to run
  • A new Netflix docu-series, Sisters on Track, follows the lives of three of her students, homeless sisters from Brooklyn, who went on to compete in the Junior Olympics back in 2016
  • Asked why she continues to coach after more than 36 years, Bell said she only hopes to make a difference in the lives of girls who have been undervalued and underestimated their whole lives

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As the founder of Jeuness Track Club in Brooklyn, Coach Jean Bell teaches girls to run.

However, the club imparts on young women so much more than just the skill of running. For many of the girls who attend, it's a home away from home, a place to learn about the world and its challenges and further their education by winning scholarships.

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Jean Bell, 'Sister's on Track', Netflix, Coach, Running
Jean Bell is inspiring change in the lives of many young women. Images: Jeuness Track Club/Facebook
Source: Facebook
"You can literally run yourself into a future," Bell told Insider.

Sisters on Track set to premiere on Netflix this month

A new Netflix documentary, Sisters on Track, premiering on 24 June, documents the journey of three of her members, the Sheppard sisters. It tells the true story of the girls' troubled past living in a homeless shelter to their great achievement of competing in the junior Olympics in 2016.

According to a previous article by NewsByte, the three sisters had no running experience but with a little hard work and the encouragement of coach Bell, went on to claim the glory of competing.

Bell took them under her wing and says she quickly realised the girls had exceptional talent and were so special.

"I tell them all the time, because that's something that black girls need to hear: 'You're special'," she said.

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A dedicated coach who's certainly not doing it for the money

Bell has been running Jeuness for 36 years, entirely unpaid. As a lawyer, she ran the club on her own for years before her sister came on board to help. There's now a team of seven coaches (four of whom are former members) training 30 girls.

Asked why she does what she does so selflessly, Bell explained that she has a deep personal connection to the experience her girls as she also grew up in poverty.

"I grew up in poverty and I always said to myself, 'I'm not going to continue to live like this, this is not going to be my life. I have to find a way out'," she said. "And it makes you stronger. It makes you more determined."

She also spoke about the devaluing of women in society, especially black women. She continues to inspire young women with her teaching, hoping to make a difference one track star at a time.

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"All girls have been undervalued and underestimated, so I always tried to impart on the girls, 'Don't let anybody tell you you can't, that's not in our vocabulary.' It's systemic throughout society, especially in the US where women aren't given the opportunities that they should be given, but if you give them a chance, they'll do it,'' she ended.

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Village kids wow professor with battery-operated 'Grand Prix' racing competition

In more news on kids making the most of a bad situation through sports, Briefly News previously reported that some kids in a village have wowed many social media users with their racing competition, similar to the Italian Grand Prix, in an adorable video.

In the video that was shared on LinkedIn by a professor identified as Ndubuisi Ekekwe, the kids could be seen racing with wooden vehicles as onlookers enjoyed the moment.

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Speaking about the video, Professor Ekekwe said:

"They call it Italian Grand Prix but those days in the village it was something more amazing: Akpurachi ride. Yes, you get a “ballrex” with an old bicycle chain, put some wooden things together, stay on a hilly place, and get gravity to get you down.
"Who makes it first to the udara tree wins! I am told now that kids put rechargeable batteries with motors to propel them. And these are done while in primary school! Now listen to the commentary because this is Italian Grand Prix 2.0."

Many react to the adorable video

Morris Kawel said:

"This is ingenious! They have taken it notches higher compared to our days. It's more exciting and fun. I see great potentials in sports here."

Mohammed commented:

"It’s nice that you have spotted this out, and your remarks described it well enough. It’s common sight in my village too but l can’t put a name to it, unfortunately. The fact here for me is that our people have attempted everything you now know as big money spinning businesses as mere adventures in the past.

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"Now, to imagine the technology that has propelled this mere adventure into big businesses today is surprising. We had the skills but technology failed us!"

George Ejere wrote:

"This lends credence to one of my posts on how creative and innovative the African child can be even without going to school to study physics, chemistry, biology or engineering for that matter.
"Given the same tools, opportunities and platforms, the average African child can outperform and outclass his western counterparts.
"If only African governments and some private sector players can harness the native intelligence and creative mind of the African child, there would be less poverty on the continent."

Mohammad Muneeb said:

"You don't have to be rich in order to have fun."

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Source: Briefly News

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