Nineteen elementary and middle school girls from the Boys & Girls Club in Eatonville successfully completed a 12-week character building and running training program called Girls on the Run when they crossed the finish line, all smiles, at the OUC Orlando 5K race in December.
The girls, who were participating in their first major 5K, were led by volunteer coaches, including Lisa Portelli, Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) Program Director for Community Health, and assisted by the members of the Healthy Eatonville Team (HET). WPHF also contributed funds for the program incentives – running shoes and apparel for the girls.
The four volunteer coaches met with the girls every Monday and Wednesday for 12 weeks to run and to provide short lessons about life. The HET members came out to direct and cheer the girls at their practice 5K–the Run Around the Town in Eatonville– in October.
“So many groups were excited about helping these girls,” said Ms. Portelli. “The Healthy Eatonville Team, Boys and Girls Club staff, the Eatonville Police, Black Girls Run!, Winter Park DAWGS running club and many others all helped the girls practice and train for the culminating event in Downtown Orlando. “