I was fortunate enough to spend my day yesterday at the 5K Fun Run for Kent County Girls on the Run® who was celebrating their 10th anniversary. There were over 2,000 girls and 350 coaches at this race alone. Girls on the Run has been around since 1996 and is actually an international program. Their mission is simple: They inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
My daughter was fortunate enough to have this program at her school. It relies on volunteer coaches to be trained and then spend a considerable amount of time getting the girls ready for their 5K. After completing her race yesterday, I asked my daughter how she felt. She said, in this order, “tired, excited, happy, proud.”
I have mentioned the need for giving back as a professional. Girls on the Run is such a great program, but it relies on volunteers to make it happen. This is a great opportunity for fitness, health and wellness professionals to get involved and impact their community. I have volunteered at this event before and every time I attend I am more and more inspired by the girls who cross the finish line. I would strongly encourage you to consider contributing your time, talent, and passion for well-being to this very worthwhile organization.
Girls on the Run® was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Girls on the Run® curricula, the heart of the program, provides pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and successfully navigate life experiences. The earliest version of the 24 lesson curriculum was piloted in 1996 with the help of thirteen brave girls. Twenty-six girls came the next season, then seventy-five. In 2000, Girls on the Run International, a 501c3 organization was born.
With the help of over 55,000 volunteers, the Girls on the Run program is now serving over 130,000 girls in 200+ cities across North America each year. In 2012, Girls on the Run hosted 253 end-of-season 5k events across the United States and Canada.