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Monday, May 25, 2009

Girls on the Run: Do it for your Daughter, Do it for Yourself!

By Guest Blogger Laura Burrows

A few weeks ago, our Girls on the Run team from Whitaker Elementary (Winston-Salem) joined more than 10,000 other dedicated walkers, runners and supporters in the Komen Race for the Cure held in Winston-Salem. The race was the culmination of twelve weeks of training that began with just a few laps around the soccer field on a frigid day in February. Our girls, who ranged in ages from 9 to 12, started at all different levels of fitness, and as coaches, we could not have been prouder to see each of them cross the finish line with her running buddy.

For girls who have participated in the program and those who have coached, we know that Girls on the Run is about so much more than finishing a 5K. It’s about building self-esteem and confidence during a critical period in these girls’ lives, it’s about camaraderie and support through a new group of friends, and it’s about creating a safe environment where girls can share their worries and concerns. During our twice-weekly training sessions, we talked as a group about important topics like bullying, gossip, drugs, learning to listen and being a good sport.

While I know our girls learned and grew from those sessions, I also know as coaches and as moms, we grew as well. If you are looking for an outlet to shape a girls’ life—your daughter’s or someone else’s—be sure to check out Girls on the Run. You don’t need to be an athlete—all you need to be is a good motivator and listener. I would also encourage you to get a few moms to join you as coaching—this worked great for our team at Whitaker where we had 5 trained coaches to help share coaching responsibilities and leadership. As with any activity, it is more fun for everyone, the more people you have involved!

It is very easy to get trained as a coach—for Forsyth County, there is a coaches training session slated for May 30th at Summit School and you can get information by contacting Paula Evans at 718-5247 or checking out the web site at For Guilford County and the larger Triad area, the web site lists the contact as Kara Loggins at 869-0151. The main North Carolina Web site is

Have you and your daughter participated in this program? If so, tell us your success stories!


Molly said...

Thank you Katie for this awesome blog entry. We LOVE our coaches!!!

sara said...

This sounds like an incredible program. We need more things like this for our young girls. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for all the Whitaker runners! We are so proud of you girls!

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