I had the pleasure of getting to know Girls on the Run Triangle as an organization a few years ago when I volunteered to help them with some of their marketing efforts. Girsl on the Run is an empowerment program that uses running and physical activity to introduce healthy lifestyle tools and choices to young girls. I was prepared to meet some new people, have fun, and find a new way to get involved with the community. What I wasn’t prepared for is how much the girls that participate in the GOTR program would capture my heart.
As marketing volunteer, most of what I did was behind the scenes and didn’t involve much interaction with the girls. In an effort to help promote the Spring 5k, we decided to make a video that would air on Fox50. I volunteered to go to a couple of the sites to get footage of the girls and ask them a few questions about the program.
It was at Cary Family YMCA where I met the first group of girls. They were doing their usual after school practice, only I was quite surprised to see quite a few of them running in less that conventional running gear, including fancy embellished vests & hats for example. (I guess their coaches had told them I was coming.)
The interviews were quite a treat. It was so much fun to hear each girl describe what being a Girl on the Run meant to her. The answers all had as much individuality and flair as each girl herself, but the sentiment was the same… Girls on the Run was a place they could come together, have fun, be healthy and learn how important it was to be kind to themselves and each other.
Each site I visited showed me more of the same and suddenly I was so proud to be part of this organization. I wish they had programs like this when I was kid! The program is for girls in 3rd-5th grade, with a middle school program to begin this fall. The Girls on the Run mission embraces this belief:
We believe that every girl
can embrace who she is,
can define who she wants to be,
can rise to any challenge,
can change the world.
Think about that for a minute. What if we could send every girl into her Middle School years armed with self-confidence and self-esteem, ready to meet each new social, physical and academic challenge. What kind of difference could that make for the way they view themselves, their peers and their studies?
I truly encourage you to explore this program for your daughter or to get involved yourself. They have lots of volunteer opportunities each year that range from coaching, event support, to just volunteering as a Running Buddy for any of their races.
Their biggest event of the year – the GOTR Spring 5k is coming up on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 9:00 am at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, NC. The race is open to everyone, all ages and sexes, is stroller/walker friendly and can completed time or un-timed. Even if you are not a runner, you can check out their Family Festival which takes place after the race and offers fun booths and activities for the whole family.