REGION – Girls on the Run Vermont’s spring coach registration is now open. Becoming a coach for Girls on the Run Vermont means creating a positive impact for Vermont girls. Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based positive youth development program that is designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences.
The 10-week program incorporates running to teach critical life skills, encourage personal development, and foster team building and community service. Volunteer coaches utilize a curriculum to engage teams of girls in fun, interactive lessons. Teams meet twice a week for 90 minutes and the program culminates with all teams participating in a celebratory 5k run and walk event.
Now, more than ever, the program is so important for girls in grades three through eight as a 2018 study done by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, the authors of “Confidence for Girls,” found that from age 8 to 14, girls’ self-confidence falls by 30%.
An independent study conducted by Dr. Maureen Weiss Ph.D., University of Minnesota, shows that the program is effective in driving transformative change in the lives of young girls. Almost all girls – 97% – said they learned critical life skills including managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, or making intentional decisions at Girls on the Run that they are using at home, at school, and with their friends. Girls who were the least active at the start of the season increased their physical activity level by 40% from pre- to post-season and maintained this increased level beyond season’s end. Girls on the Run makes a stronger impact than organized sports and physical education programs in teaching life skills, such as managing emotions, resolving conflict, helping others, and making intentional decisions.
Girls on the Run Vermont currently serves girls at 176 sites in Vermont. Volunteers provide critical leadership and the nonprofit organization is currently seeking coaches to facilitate the program with small teams of 8 to 20 girls.
Coaches do not need to be runners but are required to be a minimum of 18 years old to serve as an assistant or 21 years old to serve as a head coach. Junior coaches are also encouraged to apply. All volunteer coaches must complete a background check and attend a training session.
For more information about coaching and Girls on the Run Vermont, visit www.gotrvt.org/coach.