Girls on the Run is a 10-week program that empowers participants to make healthy choices in their lives, to develop leadership skills, and to develop self-confidence and self-respect.
Where are locations for the program?
Click HERE for the 3rd -5th grade locations. Click HERE for the 6th-8th grade locations.
Whom does the program serve?
Girls on the Run of Central Maryland serves participants in grades 3-8.
How often does the program meet?
The program meets twice a week for ten weeks. The lessons run for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Each session contains an introduction, warm-up, a workout for girls of all ability levels, and a wrap up.
Do participants have to be runners?
No! Girls on the Run of Central Maryland is for EVERY GIRL— even those who don’t like to run. The program is non-competitive and focuses on developing healthy, positive self-images in the participants. Girls are encouraged to walk or run the laps during the workouts, and all girls progress at their own speed.
Do coaches have to be runners?
No! Anyone with a desire to work with girls of this age group, and enjoy physical exercise are welcome to apply to be a volunteer coach. Please see the coaching requirements for more information and complete an on line application.
What does the program cost?
Fees are $150 per session. Keep in mind though that GOTR also offers financial assistance. We DO NOT to turn ANY girl away. Please contact us for more details.
How do I sign up and register a participant?
Check current registration date, and register on line.
Each meeting focuses on a specific issue-related topic, which is incorporated into the activities and games planned for the lesson. The Coaches begin the lesson by introducing and explaining the day’s topic. The girls then warm up their muscles with a brief interactive running activity or game. Then, the girls stretch and further discuss how the activity related to the topic. Next, the girls perform the workout, which primarily consists of running laps but also integrates the topic of the day. For example, the girls may have to answer questions about the day’s topic each time they complete a lap. The lesson ends with stretching, processing what the girls learned that day, a group cheer and a snack.
Why the young age?
Studies show that girls between the ages of eight and twelve are still receptive to adult influence, while beginning to feel peer pressure. It’s an age psychologists call the latency period of development when girls begin to confront important life and relationship issues. As a prevention program, Girls on the Run initiates healthy decision making about difficult issues and really talking to their parents/caretakers before it’s too late.
In addition, learning healthy exercise habits early in life increases the chances that participants will value their own physical fitness as adults. Recent studies show that only those who develop exercise habits in their teen years or earlier are likely to maintain those habits for life. It’s well documented that regular, moderate exercise improves cardiovascular functioning, and reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, osteoporosis (brittle bones), and obesity. In addition, girls of this age are more open to the positive peer influences, positive adult role models and the confidence enhancing which are all parts of the GOTR experience.
Is it safe for young girls to run the 5K (3.1 mile) distance?
“Children’s bodies are well suited for endurance exercise, and numerous studies have shown that children show many positive physiological adaptation to endurance exercise training. The keys are gradual progression and common-sense adult supervision. If those conditions are met, running 3 miles is a reasonable goal for most young people, ” says Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., with the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina.
The girls are not pressured to run, rather they are encouraged to run or walk according to their current level of fitness with emphasis on improving endurance and form.
How can I help beside coaching?
There are many ways to volunteer. Visit our Volunteer Page for details and our Volunteer Application Form.