Sisters On Track

Sisters On Track – Where Are They Now?

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Sisters on Track is a documentary film that follows the inspiring story of three young sisters, Tai, Rainn, and Brooke Sheppard, who overcame homelessness and poverty to become Junior Olympic champions in track and field. The film, which premiered on Netflix in June 2021, has garnered critical acclaim for its honest portrayal of the sisters’ journey to success and the challenges they faced along the way.

The Sheppard sisters’ early life was marked by poverty and instability, as they lived in a homeless shelter in New York City with their mother, Tonia Handy. Despite these challenges, the sisters found solace and purpose in running, and their talent and determination soon caught the attention of coaches and scouts.

With the help of their coaches, Jean Bell and Ellis Hayes, the sisters began to train rigorously and compete in local and national track meets, eventually earning a spot at the Junior Olympics in Houston, Texas.

Since the release of the documentary, many viewers have wondered about the current status and future prospects of the Sheppard sisters. This article will provide an update on the sisters’ lives and achievements since the filming of Sisters on Track, as well as answer some frequently asked questions about the documentary and its production.

Key Takeaways

  • Sisters on Track is a documentary film about the Sheppard sisters, who overcame homelessness and poverty to become Junior Olympic champions in track and field.
  • The sisters’ early life was marked by poverty and instability, but they found solace and purpose in running and were eventually coached to success by Jean Bell and Ellis Hayes.
  • This article provides an update on the sisters’ lives and achievements since the release of the documentary, as well as answers some frequently asked questions about the film and its production.

The Sheppard Sisters’ Early Life

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The Sheppard sisters, Tai, Rainn, and Brooke, were born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. They grew up in a low-income family and experienced homelessness for a period of time. Despite their difficult circumstances, the sisters excelled in their academic and athletic pursuits.

Homeless Shelter Experience

The Sheppard family’s financial struggles led them to live in a homeless shelter for a period of time. The sisters and their mother, Tonia Handy, faced many challenges during this time. This includes a lack of privacy, limited space, and difficulty accessing basic necessities. H

However, the sisters remained determined to succeed and pursued their athletic goals with the support of their mother.

Education and School Life

Despite the challenges of their living situation, the Sheppard sisters remained committed to their education. They attended public schools in Brooklyn and worked hard to maintain good grades. The sisters also participated in track and field, which helped them stay focused and motivated.

Brooke, the youngest sister, faced additional challenges in school due to a learning disability. However, with the support of her family and educators, she was able to overcome these obstacles and excel academically.

In conclusion, the Sheppard sisters’ early life was marked by financial struggles and homelessness. However, they remained committed to their education and athletic pursuits, which helped them overcome their challenges and achieve success.

Athletic Journey

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Introduction to Athletics

The Sheppard sisters’ athletic journey began when their mother enrolled them in the Jeuness Track Club, a local track and field program in Brooklyn, New York. The program was founded by Jean Bell, a former Olympic hurdler, who saw potential in the sisters and encouraged them to pursue their passion for running.

Junior Olympics Success

Under Bell’s guidance, Tai, Rainn, and Brooke Sheppard quickly excelled in their events and went on to compete in the Junior Olympics. Despite facing financial struggles and living in a homeless shelter at the time, the sisters remained dedicated to their training and achieved impressive results.

Their success caught the attention of Sports Illustrated Kids, who named them the 2016 SportsKids of the Year. The sisters were also featured in the documentary “Sisters on Track,” which chronicled their journey and shed light on the issue of homelessness in America.

Jeuness Track Club Membership

The Sheppard sisters’ membership in the Jeuness Track Club played a crucial role in their athletic development and success. The program provided them with access to quality coaching, training facilities, and competition opportunities that they may not have otherwise had.

Today, the sisters continue to be involved in the Jeuness Track Club as mentors and role models for younger athletes. They also serve as ambassadors for various organizations that promote sports and fitness for women and girls.

Overall, the Sheppard sisters’ athletic journey is a testament to the power of dedication, hard work, and perseverance. Their success serves as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere, and their story highlights the importance of providing equal opportunities and resources for all athletes, regardless of their background or financial situation.

Influential Figures

Coach Jean Bell

Coach Jean Bell, the founder of the Jeuness Track Club, played a crucial role in the success of Tai, Rainn, and Brooke Sheppard, the three sisters featured in the Netflix documentary “Sisters on Track.”

Bell’s dedication to her athletes and her ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the sisters to train and grow helped them achieve their goals and make it to the Junior Olympics.

Bell’s coaching style emphasizes discipline, hard work, and perseverance. She teaches her athletes to overcome adversity and to never give up on their dreams. Her influence on the Sheppard sisters is evident in the way they carry themselves both on and off the track.

Tyler Perry’s Role

Tyler Perry, the renowned actor, writer, and producer, played a significant role in the lives of the Sheppard sisters after he learned about their story. Impressed by their determination and resilience, Perry offered to pay for their college education, ensuring that they would have a bright future beyond their athletic careers.

Perry’s generosity and support gave the sisters the opportunity to pursue their academic goals and to continue to inspire others with their story. His involvement in their lives is a testament to the impact that the documentary “Sisters on Track” has had on people around the world.

Role of ‘The View’ Show

In 2016, the Sheppard sisters were named SportsKids of the Year by Sports Illustrated Kids. To celebrate their achievement, they were invited to appear on the popular daytime talk show “The View.” The sisters’ story touched the hearts of the show’s hosts and audience. And they were surprised with a donation of $10,000 from the show’s sponsor.

The sisters’ appearance on “The View” helped to raise awareness about their story and to inspire others to pursue their dreams despite the odds. It also gave them a platform to share their message of hope and resilience with a wider audience.

In conclusion, Coach Jean Bell, Tyler Perry, and “The View” show have all played influential roles in the lives of the Sheppard sisters and their journey to success. Their support and encouragement have helped to inspire countless others and to demonstrate the power of hard work and perseverance.

Academic Achievements

Since the release of the documentary “Sisters on Track,” the Sheppard sisters have continued to excel academically and athletically. Tai, Rainn, and Brooke have been pursuing their education while also training for track and field competitions.

Tai Sheppard, the eldest of the three sisters, graduated from high school in 2021. She was accepted into Harvard University, where she plans to study political science. Tai has always been an excellent student, and her hard work has paid off with her admission to one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Rainn Sheppard, the middle sister, is currently a senior in high school. She has been maintaining her grades while also training for track events. Rainn has been offered scholarships from several universities and is still deciding where she will attend college.

Brooke Sheppard, the youngest of the three sisters, is a sophomore in high school. She has been balancing her schoolwork and training, and her grades have been excellent. Brooke has also received scholarship offers from several universities and is considering her options.

The Sheppard sisters’ dedication to their education is admirable, and they are an inspiration to many young people. They have proven that it is possible to excel both academically and athletically. And they are a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination.

It is clear that the Sheppard sisters have a bright future ahead of them, and their academic achievements are just the beginning. They are role models for young people everywhere, and their commitment to their education and their sport is a testament to their character and determination.

Documentary Production

Filmmakers’ Perspective

The documentary film “Sisters on Track” was directed by Corinne van der Borch and Tone Grøttjord-Glenne. The film follows the lives of three sisters, Tai, Rainn, and Brooke Sheppard, who excelled in track and field and made it to the Junior Olympics while living in a homeless shelter with their mother. The filmmakers were inspired by the sisters’ story and wanted to showcase their journey in a way that was both authentic and inspiring.

According to the filmmakers, the documentary was a collaborative effort between themselves, the Sheppard family, and the film crew. They wanted to ensure that the sisters’ voices were heard and that their story was told in a way that was respectful and true to their experiences. The filmmakers also wanted to highlight the importance of family and community support in achieving success, particularly in the face of adversity.

Behind the Scenes

During the production of “Sisters on Track,” the filmmakers faced several challenges, including limited funding, time constraints, and the need to balance the sisters’ privacy with their desire to share their story. However, the filmmakers were able to overcome these obstacles by working closely with the Sheppard family and the film crew.

One of the key aspects of the documentary’s production was the use of archival footage and interviews with the sisters, their mother, and their coach, Tonia Handy. The filmmakers also incorporated footage from the Junior Olympics and other track and field events to showcase the sisters’ athletic abilities.

Challenges and Overcoming Them

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Handling Injuries

As with any athlete, injuries are a common challenge to overcome. The Sheppard sisters are no exception. Tai Sheppard suffered from a knee injury that required surgery, causing her to miss the entire 2018 track season.

However, with determination and support from her family and coaches, Tai was able to bounce back and continue to excel in her sport.

Dealing with Menstruation

Another challenge that female athletes face is managing their menstrual cycles. In the documentary, the Sheppard sisters discuss how they dealt with this challenge while living in a homeless shelter.

They talk about using improvised menstrual products and the importance of having access to proper hygiene facilities. This challenge highlights the need for better support and resources for female athletes, especially those facing financial hardships.

Coping with the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic presented a new set of challenges for the Sheppard sisters and all athletes around the world. The pandemic disrupted their training plans and forced them to adjust to new ways of training and competing.

However, the sisters remained determined and continued to work hard towards their goals. They also used their platform to raise awareness about the challenges facing student-athletes during the pandemic.

Throughout their journey, the Sheppard sisters have faced many challenges. However, with hope, support, and determination, they have been able to overcome them and continue to excel in their sport.

Their story serves as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere, highlighting the importance of perseverance and never giving up on your dreams.

Current Status and Future Prospects

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The Sheppard sisters have come a long way since their days of living in a homeless shelter and competing in the AAU Junior Olympics. Sisters on Track, the Netflix documentary that chronicles their journey, has brought them national attention and opened up new opportunities for the three young track stars.

Scholarship Opportunities

During an appearance on The View, Tai, Rainn, and Brooke were surprised with college education funds from the Tyler Perry Foundation. This generous gift will undoubtedly help propel their future academic pursuit. It will allow them to continue excelling in track and field.

Coming-of-Age Challenges

Growing up in a homeless shelter was not easy for the Sheppard sisters, but their hard work and determination have paid off. Sisters on Track highlights the challenges they faced, including balancing schoolwork and track practice, as well as dealing with the pressures of competing at a high level.

Despite these obstacles, the sisters have remained focused on their goals and have become an inspiration to many.

Track Stars of Tomorrow

The Sheppard sisters are just the beginning of what promises to be a bright future for young track stars. With the right support and opportunities, there are sure to be many more success stories in the years to come. Sisters on Track has brought attention to the sport and the hard work that goes into becoming a top athlete.

Scholarships and other forms of support can make a big difference in the lives of young athletes, and it is encouraging to see organizations like the Tyler Perry Foundation stepping up to help. As the Sheppard sisters continue to pursue their dreams, they are sure to inspire others to do the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Rainn and Tai Sheppard up to now?

Rainn and Tai Sheppard are currently in college. Rainn is a student-athlete at Syracuse University, where she participates in track and field. Tai, on the other hand, attends the University of Rochester, where she is studying psychology.

Are the Shepherd sisters still running competitively?

Yes, Rainn and Tai Sheppard are still running competitively. Rainn is a member of the Syracuse University track and field team, while Tai participates in club track and field at the University of Rochester.

Have the Shepherd sisters continued to inspire others?

Yes, the Shepherd sisters continue to inspire others. They have been invited to speak at various events and have even been featured in Nike’s “We Play Real” campaign, which celebrates women in sports.

What achievements have the Shepherd sisters accomplished since Sisters on Track?

Since Sisters on Track, the Shepherd sisters have accomplished many things. They have both been accepted into college and have continued to excel in track and field. They have also been featured in various media outlets and have been recognized for their athletic and academic achievements.

What are Rainn and Tai Sheppard’s plans for the future?

Rainn and Tai Sheppard both plan to continue their education and pursue careers in the field of psychology. They also plan to continue running and hope to qualify for the Olympics in the future.

How have the Shepherd sisters impacted the world of track and field?

The Shepherd sisters have had a significant impact on the world of track and field. They have inspired many young athletes to pursue their dreams and have shown that anything is possible with hard work and determination. They have also brought attention to the issue of homelessness and have shown that it is possible to overcome adversity and achieve success.


The Sheppard sisters have come a long way since the release of the documentary Sisters on Track. The film captured their journey from living in a homeless shelter to competing in the Junior Olympics. And since then, they have continued to make strides in their athletic and academic pursuits.

Tai, Rainn, and Brooke have all graduated from high school and are currently pursuing higher education. Tai is attending the University of Rochester, Rainn is at Wesleyan University, and Brooke is at La Salle University. In addition to their academic achievements, they continue to excel in track and field.

Their mother, Tonia Handy, has also continued to be a source of inspiration for her daughters. She has become a motivational speaker and advocate for homeless families, sharing her own story to help others in similar situations.

The impact of Sisters on Track has been far-reaching, inspiring audiences around the world and shedding light on the struggles faced by homeless families. The Sheppard sisters’ resilience and determination serve as a powerful reminder of the potential for greatness in all of us, regardless of our circumstances.