Girls On the Run Seeks Volunteers

  • Girls On the Run Vermont is looking for volunteers to lead running groups for elementary and middle school girls.

Valley News Correspondent
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Brattleboro — Girls On the Run Vermont, a program that teaches elementary and middle school girls self-empowerment through running, is looking for volunteer coaches at five locations in the region.

Coaches are needed in Bradford, Rumney, Warren, Tunbridge and Norwich. These locations have established programs, but do not have coaches for the upcoming spring.

“Without coaches we don’t have a program at any of these sites, which is unfortunately because the girls are on their toes all year waiting for the program to start,” said Erin Wood, marketing coordinator for Girls On The Run Vermont.

Girls On the Run teaches girls about self-love and confidence, using running games. Last year in Vermont about 800 coaches taught 2,900 girls. The international organization also has chapters in New Hampshire, including in Lebanon and Claremont.

“There’s this common misconception that it’s a running program, but it’s really a girl empowerment program and running is the platform that is used,” Wood said.

The program meets for 90 minutes twice a week beginning in March. The ten-week curriculum culminates in a celebratory 5k run held in June.

Each site needs at least two volunteer coaches, who do not need to be runners or even be physically fit. Although many volunteers are women, men also coach the program.

“You really just need to have a passion to want to empower these young girls,” Wood said. “There really is no better time to reach in and touch the souls of these young girls and to prepare them for what’s to come: to teach them about confidence, health choices and standing up for themselves. There are so many amazing lessons they’ll learn now that will carry through their whole lives.”

New coaches must undergo a background check and participate in a day-long training, where they learn about the Girls On the Run curriculum. Volunteers only need to commit to one ten-week session, but Wood said it is rare for people not to return to coach the following year.

People who are interested in learning more about coaching can visit gotrvt.org/coaching, call 802-871-5664 or email info@girlsontherunvermont.org. Because the programs must be finalized soon, potential coaches should reach out as soon as possible.

In addition to the sites listed above, the organization is open to starting program at locations that haven’t previously hosted Girls On the Run. Anyone interested in coaching at a new site should also reach out to the state chapter. Participants will be able to register on the website beginning February 19.