Local woman strives to get program started to help young girls get into shape — physically and emotionally
By Per Peterson
Making fitness fun.
That’s what Jeanne Knott says the Girls on the Run program is all about, and so strong is her belief in both of those aspects of life that she is committing her time to starting a local girls’ program in Tracy that addresses both.
But Knott, a runner herself, says Girls on the Run is by no means a running club.
“We’re not track and field,” she says. “We incorporate running into everything that we do, and then at the end of the season there is a 5K in Sioux Falls, but we focus more on the goal setting and the accomplishment of running and being able to run a 5K at the end.”
Don’t let the 5K fool you — this isn’t just about physical fitness. This isn’t about sports. Knott wants all young girls to feel good about themselves, whether they can run long distances or not.
“We also focus on a lesson at each meeting we have,” she said. “We focus on things like on positive thinking, being a good friend, healthy decisions, healthy eating, standing up for ourselves, gossiping, bullying. It’s for everybody, and there’s lessons involved with it. The running is more of the goal-setting end. They feel good because they accomplished something at the end.”
“The purpose of the 5K is we want the girls to be empowered by the experience and say ‘If I can do that, then maybe there are other aspects in my life where I could’ve given up on something, but I persevered and finished and I feel good about accomplishing this,’” said Stacy Stahl, director of Girls and Youth Programming with Girls on the Run for the Upper Midwest.
The program is open for girls in going into grades 3-5 and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one hour, 15 minutes twice a week for 10 weeks after the school day concludes at the elementary school. Information sheets were sent home with girls in those grades and the elementary school and St. Mary’s. The program will begin in September and conclude in November. Online registration opens Aug. 1.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.