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Girls On The Run FAQs

What does Girls on the Run do?

One girl put it this way, "I learned that I am the boss of my brain." Helping girls take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms. You can also think of it as Can University—a place where girls learn that they can. No limits. No constraints. Only opportunities to be remarkable.

How do we play a role in our girls' lives?

Lots of ways, but we start with helping the girls get a better understanding of who they are and what's important to them. Then we look at the role of teams and healthy relationships. And, finally, we explore how girls can positively connect with and shape the world. And remember, we believe that life-changing experiences can be fun too—for everyone—the girls, coaches, families and other volunteers. So don't be surprised when you hear laughter along with self-reflection and see beaming smiles across the beautiful, confident faces of our girls.

There is no team at my daughter's school - can she still participate?

Yes. Most of our teams are open to the community, even if they take place at a different school than your daughter attends. View our team locations. No team near you? Consider starting a team at your daughter's school - find out how.

How do I get a team started at my daughter's school?

View our New Site Application here. Basically, you need space (to run and for activities - can be a school, park, community center, etc), approval (from school or site administration) and people (3 coaches to lead practices and a Site Liaison to coordinate the team). We provide the rest, and we'll help guide you through the application process if you have questions. 

How many girls are on a team?

Team size is between 8 and 16 girls. The curriculum was designed for a group this size to facilitate team building and a healthy group dynamic. Fewer than eight girls and more than 16 make it difficult to provide the experience we seek to offer the girls. If a site does not have the minimum number of girls by the first practice day, parents will be notified and refunds will be given. If there is availability at another site, parents may have the option to register their child there. Some sites will have more than one team, but it’s dependent upon the number of trained volunteer coaches and practice space available at the school/site.

How do I sign up to coach a Girls on the Run team?

It's easy - complete a Coach Application! We'll contact you within 7 days with more information, next steps and to place you with the team that works best for you.

I don't have any experience - can I still coach?

Absolutely! No experience is necessary to coach - and you don't need to be a runner, either.  Be for the girls on your team an encouraging, enthusiastic role model. We provide training, detailed practice plans, and an awesome coaching team to ensure you have all the support you need. Complete a Coach Application now.

May coaches run as 5K Buddies in the final 5K celebration?

No.  The 5K Celebration is an event where coaches encourage all of their team girls across the finish line.  Coaches also lead their team through the pre and post-race and activities.  Each girl has an individual 5K Buddy who stays with her throughout the entire half-day event.  Some coaches cheer on their daughters on the race course, but they are not the official 5K Buddy for their daughter during all the event day activities.

I want to volunteer, but I don't have time to coach - what's the best way get involved?

We have many volunteer options other than coaching - join us as a 5K Buddy, committee member, special event volunteer,  or SoleMate.

Will I have to pay anything else throughout the course of a Girls on the Run season?

Each season culminates with the Girls on the Run Celebration 5K Event.  Girls on the Run participants are already registered for this event as part of their program fee.  However, all 5K Buddies and anyone else wishing to run in the event must register for the 5K.   Whether it’s a parent, relative, neighbor or friend who wishes to run, they are expected to register for the 5K, which costs $20 for early registration, $30 for mid registration and $40 for Race Day Registrations.  All 5K Buddies register for $15 which includes a 5K Buddy T-shirt plus an additional $7.20 for a background check.  

What is a 5K Buddy?

A 5K Buddy registers online to participate in the 5K Celebration as a one-on-one buddy for a girl at the final 5K Celebration at Reser Stadium. A 5K Buddy runs, walks, skips or hops with a GOTR girl which means keeping pace with the girl, ensuring her safety, and cheering her on.  For many girls, the final 5K Celebration is the biggest challenge and greatest accomplishment of their Girls on the Run experience. One of a girl’s favorite parts is having her very own 5K Buddy by her side!

The goal of Girls on the Run is for the girls to do their best and HAVE FUN! Girls are not encouraged to race competitively, but are encouraged to reach their own goals.

Why is team size limited?

Our curriculum is designed to provide girls with a positive learning experience in a safe environment. Registration is limited so that each girl can take an active role in the games and activities as well as receive more one-on-one attention from coaches. Because team building is so integral in this program, the smaller size allows the girls to really get to know each other as well.

Can a girl participate in the program for more than one season?

Yes.  It is ideal for a girl to participate in Girls on the Run or Girls on Track for more than one season. While our Learning Goals remain the same, each year we cycle through 3 different curricula with different activities and games designed to teach the lessons.  Through repetition of the program, girls develop healthy attitudes and habits that can last a lifetime, while continuing to be part of a girl-positive, supportive Girls on the Run or Girls on Track community of peers and coaches. As girls repeat the program they become “peer leaders” for girls just getting involved.

Why the Young Age?

Studies show that girls between the ages of eight and twelve are still receptive to adult influence, while beginning to feel peer pressure. It is a period in our emotional and intellectual development when we become aware of and begin to recognize important life and relationship issues. In addition, learning to value physical activity early in life increases the likelihood of participants staying physically healthy into adulthood. Studies show that those who develop exercise habits by their teen years are most likely to maintain those habits for life. Regular, moderate exercise improves cardiovascular functioning, reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, osteoporosis and obesity and positively counters the effects of depression and anxiety.

What financial assistance is available?

We are committed to offering the program to all girls regardless of their ability to pay.  We fundraise year-round to support scholarship funds for girls to participate.   It costs $230 per girl to deliver the GOTR program in the five counties we serve.  The full registration fee is only $150.   To make up the difference, teams receive support from local businesses as “Team Sponsors” for $1250 per year.  Our local partners provide important help to keep the cost of the program affordable.  In addition to team sponsors, we fundraise nearly $30,000 for scholarships for those families who cannot pay the full registration fee.

Our scholarships are awarded in two ways to different types of schools.

Low-Income Schools: 

  • A set discounted rate is provided for an entire school or site that is identified as a Low-Income school. 
  • Girls at Low Income Schools do not need to apply for a scholarship for the discounted fee.
  • Low-Income schools may also have limited access to technology and register with paper registrations instead of online.
  • Schools that accept paper registrations still must limit team size to 16 girls and accept payment at the school or site.

All Other Schools:

  • For non-scholarship sites, families apply for assistance online.
  • There are two options for applying online for financial assistance:   BEFORE registration (Sept. 29-Oct 19) and starting the day AFTER registration opens (Nov 3-Jan10) 
  • Online scholarship application opens BEFORE registration begins allowing parents time to receive notice of any scholarship received before registration open.  (Registration is limited to 16 girls and is only first come first served)
  • Online requests for scholarship will continued to be received once registration opens as long as there are still open spots for girls on a requested team.
  • Awarded scholarship recipients will receive an email with a Discount Code to be used at the time of online registration.
  • A girl who receives a scholarship is not guaranteed a spot on a team.  She must still register when online registration opens on Nov 2.
  • All program fees must be paid at the time of online registration.
  • To Apply for a scholarship, click here

Simple, engaging and extraordinary. The result? Healthy, confident girls who can.