Knoxville’s chapter of Girls on the Run, an organization that promotes physical and emotional health in young girls, begins its fall registration on August 14.
Girls on the Run offers a ten week after-school program that teaches girls from grades three through eight to embrace their individuality and pursue healthy living habits. The program meets twice a week, and the girls also participate in a running routine. At the end, the organization hosts a 5k where they can put their running skills to the test.
Karen Tindal, the executive director for Knoxville’s Girls on the Run chapter, says this program gives girls a place to express themselves and gain valuable life skills.
“It’s really unique to be able to bring the girls and let them have a safe environment to be girls and learn that you can be a leader, and you’re special, and you can do whatever you want in life and really gain that confidence. I tell parents it really is a gift to give them this and allow them to develop their own personal skills,” Tindal said.
Those looking to volunteer with Girls on the Run have a few options. There are opportunities as coaches, who work hands on with the girls and train them for the upcoming race. Also, there is a need for many volunteers to work at the 5k.
According to Tindal, the volunteers learn just as much as the participants of Girls on the Run and are grateful for the experiences provided by this organization.
“A lot of what I hear over and over at coaches’ training or at the end of the season especially from the college age coaches is ‘wow, I wish I had this program when I was in 3rd grade.’ They really learn along with the girls and the curriculum,” Tindal said.
This organization was founded in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1996, and it began in Knoxville in 2005. Presently, the program is held in over twenty locations in and around Knoxville.
For those interested in volunteering, registration is available on Knoxville’s Girls on the Run website, and the fall 2013 program will begin in September.