Transcending Sport

Sustainability in Sport with Triathlete Melissa Otterbein

Melissa M. Otterbein, Sustainability in Sport
Melissa Otterbein

Triathlete Melissa Otterbein has become an advocate for Sustainability in Sport and explains the responsibility that everyone has from organizations to athletes

Transcending Sport is hosted by Chris Stafford

Podcast length: 30′ 36″

Our guest today is triathlete Melissa Otterbein who is a research student, and advocate for Sustainability in Sport. Melissa explains how the organizations and individuals in sport can play an environmental role and why sport has a responsibility.  Melissa is a Graduate Assistant and Master of Public Health in Physical Activity candidate at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. She is currently researching sport as a tool to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and youth retention in sport. Melissa teaches group exercise classes while also coaching as a Certified USA Triathlon Coach and US Masters swimming coach.

Melissa is the co-author of “Sweet Maps: Conceptualization of Low-Calorie Sweetener Consumption Among Young Adults,” “Evaluation of a Sport-Based HIV Prevention Program,” and an evaluation of U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success girls soccer programming. She also authored “Sport as a Tool For Refugee Empowerment.” She has spoken nationally in sport for development presentations with The Foundation for Sport for Development and Peace, the Sport and Society Research Network, Georgetown University’s OWN IT Women’s Leadership Summit, U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Health Mini University and her work has been featured on the Sport Integrity Global Alliance’s “Millenials Matter: Sport and the Sustainable Development Goals” podcast. Melissa has volunteered in sport for development globally and locally, including football programming with refugees in Greece, sport-based community development in Togo, and locally with Special Olympics Pennsylvania, where she runs as a unified running partner with a long distance running team coached by her father (and alongside her sister, an athlete with Down Syndrome, when she’s not in soccer practice). Melissa is also the founder of Letters to Future Sisters of the World, an online platform for women and girls to share their experiences of being a female in this world while sharing dreams for future generations of females. Melissa served as a Global Health Corps (GHC) Fellow in 2014-2015 for The Grassroot Project, a Washington, D.C. sport for development organization. Prior to GHC, Melissa worked in HIV/AIDS research at Johns Hopkins University. A 2015 USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals qualifier, 2013 70.3 Ironman World Championships Qualifier, and 2013 Ironman All World-Athlete, Melissa is a competitive cyclist with The Bike Rack Racing team in Washington, D.C. and competes for women’s full inclusion in the Tour de France. She can be found on Twitter: @motterbein, Facebook, LinkedIn and her website:

Catch up with other episodes of Transcending Sport here

Transcending Sport can also be found on WiSP Sports wherever you listen to podcasts.








Photo: Melissa Otterbein
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