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Home » Ontario County » Why volunteer to coach Girls on the Run? Because even adults could use positive life-skill reminders

Why volunteer to coach Girls on the Run? Because even adults could use positive life-skill reminders

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

Girls on the run is an after-school program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. It’s a running and life-skills building program. 

“The girls learn self confidence and goal setting,” said Executive Director Kelly Fisher of Girls on the Run of Greater Rochester. “They do that through training for and then running a 5k, but also through lessons that have themes. Such as, how to have positive self talk, how to stand up for yourself, how to stand up for others. How to be a good friend, and how to recognize who’s a good friend.”

They also do a community impact project where the girls learn to give back to their communities.

So, why volunteer as an adult to coach girls?

“All the coaches that run the teams are volunteers, and that’s how I got started,” Fisher said. “Years ago I coached my daughters team and I thought, I wish I had this when I was in third grade. Because I’m definitely still practicing these things as a grown woman. So the lessons really resonated with me as an adult. We hear that from a lot of our coaches.”

Each year, they serve 1300 girls across four counties, Ontario, Wayne, Livingston and Monroe. There are teams at different schools. They have 50-75 sites a year where they meet, and teams have about 15-20 girls. They typically need 300 volunteers each year, so they’re working hard to recruit right now.

“That’s a huge and important part of our organization,” Fisher added. “We’re looking for volunteers to lead the girls because without them we’d have no Girls on the Run. The Spring season starts March 20th, and we still have a lot of teams that have girls who really want to do the program, but we need volunteers to run the programs.”

If you’re not necessarily a runner, it’s not a deal-breaker. Fisher said it’s more about learning that health and fitness can help you mentally, physically and emotionally. And if this cause speaks to you, Fisher urges you to reach out and get involved. 

“We have community members who hear about the program and it sparks something in them,” she added. “It could be passionate about helping girls be confident, or learning about running or fitness, helping youths have a positive outlet for their emotions. It can be anything that the mission speaks to you. I can’t say there’s one type of coach. We have men, women, junior coaches who are high school students, so we have a wide variety of opportunity for people.”

If you’re interested in coaching or learning more about the program, click here or call Kelly at 585-662-5980.