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Running toward empowerment

As reported elsewhere, 22 girls from Franklin and Suffolk, plus their running buddies, participated in Girls on the Run (GOTR) events on Dec. 12. As explained, the program is intended to develop important qualities in girls — personal traits such as self-confidence, caring and character.

Lessons are reinforced through physical activity, chiefly running. That is, the girls are giving a goal of running and completing a 5K race.

As we learned, GOTR got started in 1996 down in Charlotte, North Carolina, and rapidly grew from there. Virginia has seven councils, with 34 participating localities.

Would that such a program had been started back in the 1970s, when the “running craze” began to develop. We believe there would likely be not only a greater participation locally and beyond, but also the positive side effects would have been felt much sooner. More girls feeling sure of themselves would grow into women achieving personal health, strength, ambition and goals — all that could only be a good thing for everybody in the long run.

Certainly we hope that all who competed recently will show up for the spring event and so on and so forth.

The Hampton Roads Council is definitely interested in starting groups in Isle of Wight County, and we would like to see local girls, parents and coaches form teams in time for the spring event.

Keep running for your future, girls. It’s waiting for you to make it happen.

To find out more about GOTR, call 757-965-9040 or visit www.girlsontherun.org.