Empower Girls through Girls on the Run Rhode Island
It’s been a month since I’ve run the Boston Marathon, and after taking some time off for recovery, I’m back to running again. I may not enter another full marathon for awhile, but I plan to run quite a few 5Ks this summer, and maybe even the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on August 19 in Providence.
There’s a wonderful 5K coming up on June 2 for Girls on the Run Rhode Island, a non-profit youth development program for girls ages eight to thirteen that aims to prevent at-risk behavior through running. Girls from all different communities come together over twelve weeks to train for a 5K race, and by participating in the program, they are inspired to be healthy and confident.
Through a fun curriculum led by volunteer coaches, girls learn the benefits and fun of physical activity, understand the importance of healthy eating, learn what it means to be a supportive friend and family member, and to value their communities. They make friends through healthy habits.
I didn’t get into running seriously until after I graduated college, but if I had been exposed to a group like this when I was younger, who knows what kind of high school track star I could have been? I think it takes positive role models to instill healthy habits in young girls, and Girls on the Run could be the jumping off point for many future Kara Gouchers and Shalane Flanagans.
The family-friendly 5K will take place at 9 a.m. on June 2 at Roger Williams Park in Providence. You can register to run here. The event is also a fundraiser, and proceeds generated will help provide scholarships to ensure that all girls have the chance to participate in this program, regardless of their ability to pay. Right now, 40 percent of girls participating are on scholarship. Girls on the Run RI is also partnering with Shape Up RI to host this event.
They also need some Running Buddies for the 5K. A Running Buddy is assigned to run or walk alongside the girls throughout the race supporting, encouraging and supervising them. Volunteers would need to be available from about 7-10:30 a.m. on June 2. Background checks required. To find out more about volunteering, click here.
Watch this video for some inspiration!