Written by Girls on the Run coaches Janice Tan, Erin Hesketh and Liz Tily.
You may have heard this cheer around the Lower School or maybe you have seen some girls and their coaches running up and down the hall or on the fields. Curious? What you have witnessed is the first Girls on the Run (or GOTR for short) team at Baldwin. Before the season even started, months of training and meetings went on behind the scenes – Coaches Erin Hesketh, Liz Tily, Janice Tan and Megan Rohricht were well prepared and excited for the first season to begin!
For those who are unfamiliar with the GOTR curriculum, it consists of 20 activity-based youth development lessons that are completed in 10 weeks. The mission? A world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Girls on the Run is more than just a fitness club. Each week begins with an educational lesson designed to offer confidence, build relationships and teach life skills to young girls. At the end of the program, the girls participate in a 5k to celebrate their hard work. Every lesson builds upon a topic from the week before. The goal is to help girls be happy, healthy and confident.
A typical afternoon with GOTR starts with our girls “getting on board.” During this time, the girls transition from school to their run session. We introduce the theme of the day during a short activity. These themes include: balance, self-talk, emotions, empathy, friendship, teamwork and communication. Next, we incorporate some stretching and strengthening activities before we head off to the warm-up. The warm-up consists of movements like a game of freeze tag or a group relay. Soon after, the workout of the day begins. During this time, the girls make a lap goal, don the lap counter bracelet Coach Erin came up with and we get to work!
In between laps includes some type of journaling or communicating about our theme of the day. After laps we process our lesson and transcribe a picture, word or phrase about our day onto our “identity cards.” These cards have become very busy, demonstrating all the hard work and season’s accomplishments. At the end of each lesson, the girls give out a great big cheer and an energy award is given. An energy award is a super fun way to recognize a girl or group of girls who has given their all on that day. The girls have embraced the positivity and enjoyed celebrating their teammates throughout the season.
This past week, we completed our practice 5K and it went beautifully. After navigating some tricky spring weather, the team managed to get their laps in and build the fitness and confidence they needed to get the job done. The end of the season brings our community impact project so look around Baldwin’s campus for some GOTR personal touch!
The season finale ends on May 20th with our GOTR 5K at Montgomery County Community College. All are welcome – boys, girls, friends and family. It will give our girls a chance to share some of the positivity our season generated. If you want to join us for our season closing 5K, grab some sneakers and we’ll see you on May 20th!
As GOTR coaches, we were excited to be a part of a new program. We wanted to meet girls in other grades and get involved in a running program. The Girls on the Run program was much more than that! We were able to develop relationships and help build confidence in the girls to see that they are truly stronger than they believe! We were amazed by the responses and ideas generated by the girls during the group discussions. Many friendships were built through the GOTR program and we had so much fun interacting with the girls. The program even helped the coaches to reflect on and improve different aspects of their lives! We loved being Girls on the Run coaches!