Athletics News

The Grassroot Project Sending Four GW Student-Athletes to Leadership Academy

May 13, 2015 By Michael Bourie

For the past five years, The Grassroot Project has been an integral partner for GW Athletics. As one of the most popular projects to engage student-athletes in the community, GW has helped The Grassroot Project expand and grow its impact on the youth of DC. As an organization equally dedicated to the development of its coaches as leaders in their community, The Grassroot Project accepted six student-athletes from its four partner universities to launch its inaugural Leadership Academy.

Six Grassroot Coaches will be attending a two-week, engaging, leadership course in South Africa at the end of May. Four of the six coaches selected are Grassroot Coaches from GW: Seamus Roddy (Men's Cross Country and Track), David Lincoln (Men's Rowing), Lauren t'Kint de Roodenbeke (Women's Cross Country and Track), and Erin Boudreau (Women's Soccer).

The Grassroot Project works not only to educate at-risk youth about the HIV epidemic in Washington, DC, but also strives to develop their coaches as leaders and engaged citizens. The mission of The Grassroot Project Leadership Academy is to invigorate its community of student-athlete role models and to ultimately improve the quality of its program instruction.

Regarding the Leadership Academy trip to South Africa, Seamus Roddy commented, "I am incredibly excited to be traveling to South Africa with Grassroots. It is going to be a great opportunity to learn about how sport can create social change and how student-athletes can apply those lessons here in our own DC community."

The student-athletes chosen to participate will be exposed to an array of community driven organizations that leverage sport for social change. Student-athlete participants will better understand best practices around HIV/AIDS sexual health education and will ultimately be better equipped to improve the programs of The Grassroot Project.

The Leadership Academy is designed to expose participants to different models regarding sport for development, youth empowerment, and HIV/AIDS advocacy. A partnership with Western Cape University will also allow participants to partake in engaging lectures regarding sport for development and the complexities and nuances of the global HIV epidemic. The student-athlete participants will also demonstrate The Grassroot Project curriculum to students from Western Cape University.