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Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run

Building Confident, Healthy Girls

 

By Catherine Muriel

 

Did you know that a girl’s self-confidence peaks at 9 years old in the United States, and by adolescence, girls begin to experience faster rates of decline in physical activity, lower levels of confidence, and higher rates of anxiety compared to their male peers? Girls on the Run of the Bay Area is changing that.

 

Since 2002, Girls on the Run has served over 23,000 girls in the Bay Area. The organization encourages girls to live up to their full potential through a combination of social & emotional lessons and physical activities and aims to ensure that every girl, regardless of activity level, ethnicity, race, or economic status, benefits from the program. Their results are apparent and lasting. Nearly 85% of girls improved in confidence, ability, character, and people skills.

 

The program is delivered in the fall and spring, usually after-school, by trained volunteer coaches. Each season lasts for 10 weeks, with sessions held twice a week for about 75-90 minutes per session. The program ends with a community impact project by each team and a magnificent 5K celebration! All the girls receive a journal, water bottle, T-shirt, PPE, and, for those who cannot afford them, a new pair of running shoes. Fees are on a sliding scale to ensure every girl can participate.

 

“She just lights up when she talks about Girls on the Run and receiving energy awards. She said to me the last time, ‘I've even made a really good friend.’ It is really beautiful to see! Thank you again!” – social worker, Supporting Bay Area Families

 

Girls on the Run delivers a solution that young girls need - especially right now – to provide the social, emotional, and physical support they crave. During this pandemic, the prevalence of physically inactive students has posed severe challenges for children and adolescents, affecting girls’ physical and emotional health. Having been recognized as an essential business by California, Girls on the Run operated outside while strictly abiding to both state and county laws on social distancing. They provided girls and coaches with the necessary materials to have a fun, safe, and productive practice each week outdoors.

“It’s fun, my friends are there, it's outside, it’s exercise.” – Current GOTR participant

As the fall season wraps up, Girls on the Run is now planning their spring season, commencing in March. If you are interested in coaching, register on the website https://www.gotrbayarea.org/coach. High school students are always welcome and receive community service credit.  You can also sign up to hold a spot for your girl during the Spring season.

 

For more information on Girls on the Run of the Bay Area, visit https://www.gotrbayarea.org.