The Power of Girls on the Run

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Provided by Girls on the Run of NOVA

A GOTR NOVA Coach shares a remarkable experience from the fall 2022 season:

“We had a 3rd grade participant who was new to the school and new to running this season. She also had some learning disabilities and social anxiety that made it difficult for her to express her feelings and easily engage in large, social settings.

“At most of our practices, she was reserved and hesitant to set goals for herself because she was too scared she wouldn’t meet them. But, all of the girls in our program rallied around her to help cheer her on and would walk or run with her when they saw she was expressing signs of self-doubt.

“Thanks to the community, empowerment, and star power focus of the program, this young girl went from only doing a few laps in the first few weeks to completing 2.5 miles in the time we blocked off for our practice 5K. She completed the actual 5K and when she got her medal she hugged it close and kept exclaiming how proud she was of herself and that she “did it!” and gave each of us (her coaches) a hug to thank us for helping her make a great memory.””

Registration for the spring 2023 season of Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia is open. Registration will close on Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m.

The 10-week out-of-school program will begin the week of March 6 and conclude at the celebratory 5K events the weekend of May 20 to 21.

Teams typically meet twice a week for 75 to 90 minutes and are led by volunteer coaches. Each practice has a corresponding lesson from the Girls on the Run research-based curriculum, which focus on building social, emotional, and physical skills while encouraging healthy habits for life.

While many teams meet at schools, GOTR NOVA also offers community teams based out of neighbors, community centers, and parks. If you don’t hear of a team being offered at your school, make sure to check out GOTR NOVA’s interactive map to find a team near you!

Girls on the Run programming is specifically designed for elementary school girls starting in grade 3 while Heart & Sole programming is created for middle school girls.

Currently, 130 teams throughout Northern Virginia, including Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William are open for spring 2023 registration through Feb. 28, 2023. For more information about spring registration and sites for Girls on the Run of NOVA, visit

About Girls on the Run of NOVA

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization with local Councils in all 50 states. Founded in 1996 with 13 girls, Girls on the Run has now served over 2 million girls. Over the course of the program, girls in 3rd-8th grade develop social, emotional and physical skills to successfully navigate life experiences. The program culminates with girls positively impacting their communities through a service project and being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K event. With the largest 5K series by number of events in the world, Girls on the Run hosts more than 330 5Ks per year. Girls on the Run is included as a top research-based program in a Social-Emotional Learning Guide developed by researchers at Harvard University and has been recognized by the National Afterschool Association (NAA) as one of the most influential after-school programs.


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