Girls on the Run (GOTR) of Coastal Georgia and the Lowcountry is looking for volunteer coaches who can lead the girls twice per week. Coaches do not need to be runners, but they should have a desire to make a positive impact on young girls and the community, according to GOTR.
GOTR aims to inspire third- through eighth-grade girls through building self-esteem and guided challenges. The 10-week after school program helps girls gain confidence through running as well as individual lessons.
Coach Julie Heyel chose to be a coach because she saw a need.
“They need to know they are special, valuable human beings,” she said. “Sometimes I feel that when we tell them they are awesome, we may be one of the only ones telling them this. The few hours a week makes a huge difference in their self esteem and confidence.”
Danielle Wallace is a school teacher and GOTR coach. “As volunteers, we learn and grow ourselves and really see what we're capable of and are able to reflect that alongside the girls during each lesson,” she said. “It's allowed me the opportunity to really see what's going on with the girls in our school and support them in overcoming obstacles they're facing each and every day, while building important character traits.”
Coaches are given everything they need to lead their team of girls. A detailed curriculum, box of materials, and organizational support are all provided.
The culmination of the 10 weeks is a 5K celebration event, according to GOTR. While the girls strive to complete the distance on the track, there is also face painting, hair braiding, SnoCones, and more.
Olivia Ferrara, 9, joined GOTR last year and she is excited to participate again. “You get to exercise and learn lessons. We wrote thoughts about ourselves on a balloon and then our coach popped it and told us not to think about yourself that way anymore. The lessons are stuck in your thoughts,” she said.
Olivia explains a good coach is someone who likes to help others, is kind and generous and is organized. “We want to get stuff done. We are serious about being there.”