Today we’d like to introduce you to Cecelia Townes.
Cecelia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
For as long as I can remember, sports and advocating for others has been a major part of my life. As a child, you could probably find me being the captain of whatever sports team I was on, speaking up for my teammates and trying to get the “W.” My love of sports and people have propelled me into my life today.
I am proud graduate of Howard University and the University of California, Los Angeles-School of Law. As an undergraduate at Howard, I was a member, former team captain and four-time academic All-American on the Women’s Tennis team. In law school, I focused on criminal law as I planned to practice as a criminal defense attorney. But God and the Great Recession had other plans. Following graduation and bar passage, I worked for the District of Columbia government where I focused on administrative law because public defender and prosecutor offices were on hiring freezes. It was during my time at DC Government that I realized that I missed sports and wanted to make them a part of my career. I convinced some of my friends to start an athlete representation firm, Omni Sports Agency LLC. Omni flopped like a pancake before it even got off the ground, but I learned some lessons and it proved that the passion I had for sports didn’t go anywhere. Following my stint with DC Government, I began working for the federal government as an employment and labor attorney, a position I currently hold today.
In 2012, I became frustrated with the type of coverage of women’s sports and women in sports, in general, so I started GladiatHers.com to provide a more in-depth look at women in all aspects of the sports industry. My first two major posts were about concussions in girls’ soccer and the injustice behind the treatment of Caster Semenya.
In 2013, I decided that I wanted my 9-5 to be in the sports industry working with student-athletes. I quickly found; however, that no one wanted to hire an attorney with no actual experience in sports besides being a former student-athlete. Not deterred, I decided that I would start my own company to work with student-athletes, Beyond the Game LLC (“BTG”). BTG provides workshops on student-athletes’ rights, wellness, financial literacy, and professional development to prepare student-athletes for life after college athletics.
As GladiatHers.com and BTG grew, I found that my greatest impact was with women, so I began to narrow the focus of BTG by broadening the GladiatHers.com into GladiatHers® the company. We provide written & video content, events (like the upcoming GladiatHers® Women in Sports Empowerment Summit), mentorship and workshops for women and girls, especially those in the sports industry, all aimed at empowering women to define and attain success in their lives; to fulfill their purposes.
In the process of growing GladiatHers®, I have had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of the national non-profit, Play Like a Girl!®, become a contributing writer for espnw.com, participate in the EY Women Athletes Business Network mentorship program and a host of other amazing endeavors. I am an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and serve as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Atlanta.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been. As mentioned in the prior response, I have had to overcome failed businesses, a limited (and a times non-existent) job market and general lack of interest for women’s issues and women in sports.
GladiatHers® – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
GladiatHer® is a word that I trademarked and it means a fierce woman who tackles life and the world on her own terms. She sacrifices blood, sweat, tears and time in the pursuit of her purpose. The GladiatHer® is a strong, smart, dedicated woman who gives her all at home, at work, and in her community. There is no stopping the GladiatHer®.
The mission of GladiatHers® is to empower women from all walks of life to pursue their passions and purposes with boldness and confidence in spite of what the world throws at them. We do so by teaching our clients how to incorporate the principles and practices used by successful female athletes to be successful in their everyday life. We help our clients, athletes, and non-athletes, build strong senses of self, strong visions, strong strategies, and strong networks so that they can reach their maximum potential.
GladiatHers® strives to create a world where women are emboldened to chase and attain their wildest dreams without fear of failure or judgment.
We assist our tribe of GladiatHers® with reaching their goals through the use of written & video content, workshops, events, and our mentorship program.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I am a STRONG believer in staying in my own lane and running my own race so my success is defined by whether I reach the goals that I set for myself and my business; not what goals others set for me. Success comes when at the end of a project: 1) I look back and am pleased with the level and consistency of work that I put in, and 2) I get favorable feedback from the people the project was designed to serve.
- Website: GladiatHers.com
- Phone: 678-310-7316
- Email: GladiatHers@gmail.com
- Instagram: GladiatHers
- Facebook: GladiatHers
- Twitter: WeRGladiatHers
- Personal Instagram: SportyEsquire
- Other: ceceliatownes.com
Mixer photo of panel discussion – Klarque Garrison, Headshots – Jhara Avant