Forward is a Pace: Programming in a Pandemic

Posted by KMiller in on Wed 04/07/2021 8:46

Each season we field a lot of questions. Not just about the logistics of the program and the 5K, but about what is happening in our GOTR community.  Here's the scoop on some of the questions we've had and what's going on at GOTR-STL. 

Forward is a pace! Our girls and their volunteer coaches are so resilient! This is already our third season coaching through a pandemic, bringing volunteers and families together around the fantastic girls. We have a good number of new teams--in-person and virtual!  Even through a mass awakening to racial disparities, a recession, an election year, and our ongoing collective personal struggles, many continue to support Girls on the Run - St. Louis, often in new ways, to keep moving forward!

How is virtual GOTR going? The. Girls. Are. Loving. It!! Virtual programming is still the best option for a number of sites this season. Girls and coaches love connecting and moving with each other, to strengthen their minds, bodies and relationships. Many who participated virtually last fall are back for more this spring! Last fall, one mom shared, “I love that Tilly is with you guys and the girls from school for this. . .  it’s the perfect time for some girl power and for being a part of a team ;) ”

How about in-person teams? We have a number of coaches who completed their training online to lead their In-Person/Flexible GOTR teams and support or take over leading the program at their school or even at local parks. Many beautiful city and county parks create a perfect space for both school-based and community teams to be able gather safely for practice! Some local community centers and even our Maplewood office parking lot/local park makes a good space for GOTR practice too. 

What is coaching like this season?  Community coaches continue to take the lead! Traditionally our community coaches join site based teams, often providing trained coach support for teams to take more girls and lending their experience from a number of seasons, often from a variety of sites. Last fall our community coaches piloted our very successful Community Virtual GOTR and H&S teams, most of them returning to coach virtually this season as well! 

How about the number of girls? Practice Partner Coaches save the day! This season, registration opened on February 1st and on April 5th we registered our 1,000th girl for the spring 2021 season!  We are thrilled to have doubled the number of girls registered over what we originally projected during late registration! We are so full of gratitude to the volunteers who joined the team right as practices were starting to allow many teams to reopen or increase their capacity for more girls. A heartfelt shout-out to the school administrators we’ve worked with to make a program possible this season as well!

What about the sites that aren't having a team this season? We salute our out-of-season coaches and girls. So many in our Girls on the Run community are still intent on keeping their families and schools focused on learning and even helping to meet basic needs. We appreciate their support in seasons past and hope to stay in touch as we recruit Solemates, 5K Superstars, 5K participants and new donors at our special events. Can’t wait to have you back! 

What about the girls? The girls participating this spring 2021 season continue to show us the way! Each of them is a bright shining light, making a rainbow of positive STAR POWER in our community. We are determined to do everything it takes to allow them to gather safely so that they feel seen and that their voices are heard.

We are so grateful to YOU, GOTR friends, for staying engaged and keeping us moving forward together. Girls on the Run is so much fun!