This week’s motivational Monday is about giving back to the sport we love, while at the same time empowering young girls. Girls on the Run is a national organization that helps young girls train for and race a 5K. This non-profit program serves girls in 3rd-8th grades at schools all over the country–you probably have a chapter nearby!
I first heard of Girls on the Run when I lived in Providence, Rhode Island, and I volunteered to be a running buddy for their 5K race. The enthusiasm among the girls, their running buddies, and all of the volunteers was palpable. Although we had really nasty weather, the girls and their families still came out to get the job done! What an inspiration they were and continue to be for me.
One of the other things I love about Girls on the Run (GOTR) is the carefully designed curriculum that accompanies their training program. The girls are provided with lessons about self-esteem, how to develop a healthy body image, and so much more.
The course is 12 weeks long, and it’s broken down into 24 different lessons. There are two tracks: one for 3rd-5th graders and one for 6th-8th graders. The girls meet with their coaches twice a week in small teams of 8-20 girls, so they also learn the value of teamwork.
Lastly, the girls work together on a community service project, so that they can learn the value of giving back to their community (LOVE!). I really think that Girls on the Run hits it out of the park with their program. It’s so hard to be a tween/teen girl in today’s society. GOTR helps to bolster girls’ confidence and teach them life lessons. It really provides them with valuable tools to stay strong and weather all of the messages they are bombarded with from society!
I am asking all of YOU to check and see if your local area has a Girls on the Run chapter; and if so, find a way to help them out. One of the easiest ways to join up is to serve as a running buddy during their final race. I know you will find it as rewarding as I did. Running gives all of us so much, so it’s only right that we give it back–especially to our young girls! To find out if there is a chapter near you, click HERE.
Have you ever volunteered with Girls on the Run?