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Sign-ups begin for Girls on the Run

Program boosts self-esteem

POSTED: November 30, 2012 11:27 p.m.
 

Girls are invited to sign up for a 12-week running and empowerment program.

Registration for the spring 2013 Girls on the Run program for Forsyth, Hall, Cherokee and Dawson counties begins today.

The program is open to girls ages 8 to 13 and combines training for a 5K run with self-esteem-enhancing workouts.

Executive director Cathie Brugnoli said girls get far more from the program than just improved physical fitness, however.

“The girls get a strong sense of self, of who they are,” she said. “And they get the ability to celebrate who they are rather than comparing themselves to other girls and trying to be something that they’re not.

“When they walk away from the program, they’re excited about who they are.”

The curriculum stresses the equal importance of developing the emotional, mental, social and physical aspects of every girl through character development and positive reinforcement, while having fun.

This will be the seventh year of Girls on the Run in Forsyth County.

“It’s really amazing because this will be our 14th 5K run,” Brugnoli said. “This last season, which was fall and just ended a couple of weeks ago, we reached our highest number ever of 400 girls participating.”

That number includes participants from all four counties, but Brugnoli said about 95 of them were from Forsyth, which offers Girls on the Run in all but two of its public elementary schools.

The program costs $165, but during 2013 some scholarships will be available through a grant from United Way of Forsyth County.

The fee covers a T-shirt, water bottle, entry into the Boulder Dash 5K and a 5K T-shirt, medal and “goody bag” for those who complete the run.

Trained volunteer coaches lead small teams of up to 15 girls. They practice twice a week for about an hour and 15 minutes after school. The spring season will run from Feb. 4 through April 19.

Brugnoli said she’s also looking for volunteer coaches for the spring season.

“Each season it takes us approximately 100 coaches to deliver the program to the girls,” she said. “They don’t need to be runners or athletic in anyway. They just need to be somebody who wants to mentor girls.”

 

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