Kristin Clark Volunteer Spotlight
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am the Librarian at Ballwin Elementary and have been teaching for 18 years. I have a husband and a 5 year old daughter, Jillian who is in Kindergarten this year. I am an avid runner and am training to run the Boston Marathon April 16th! I have been the head coach and site liaison at Ballwin for the past 10 years and our little program has grown! We were 51 girls strong this past fall. I have run as a SoleMate twice. Last April when I ran the Go St. Louis Marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon as a SoleMate I raised over $1200.00. I have been a small group facilitator at new coaches training, and am currently doing GOTR site visits as a part Team Adelaide.
Why did you choose to volunteer/get involved with GOTR?
10 years ago, another teacher at my school had a friend who had recently gotten involved with GOTR and said do you want to try to start a team at Ballwin? I immediately got on the website and started filling out the interest form and she and I got it started at Ballwin the next season. I love to run and l live a healthy, active life. I didn't have mush confidence in myself as a young person, but have become more comfortable in my own skin as I have grown. I wanted an outlet for me to be able to coach and teach girls at my school to do the same in their own lives.
What is the most rewarding thing about Girls on the Run?
The most rewarding thing about GOTR is watching the growth in the girls from season to season. I have had girls who say they "hate" running when they start the program in 3rd grade and go on to be amazing runners by the time they leave Ballwin. I love seeing entire families get involved. I also love when I witness girls at school using the strategies we teach.
How has GOTR-STL impacted your life?
GOTR has given me a way to take something I truly love and that is a huge part of who I am (running) and helped me share this passion with others.
What is your favorite memory from your time with GOTR?
I have so many fond memories in my time at GOTR, it is hard to pick just 1. One favorite memory that I think is what hooked me was my first GOTR 5K. It was in Forest Park and I had no idea what to expect. We had about 17 girls that first season. The feeling I got being there and energy of the girls was something I hadn't experienced at a race before, and I knew I had to do it again!
Why would you recommend others get involved with Girls on the Run?
GOTR is the most rewarding volunteer opportunity I have ever been a part of. Over the past 10 years, my fellow amazing coaches at my school have helped create a GOTR culture and tradition at Ballwin Elementary that you can feel when you are at a practice. It is a place the girls and coaches want to be season after season.
What are your hopes for the future of Girls on the Run as an organization?
My future hope for Girls on the Run is that it continues to grow. I cannot wait until my own daughter is GOTR age and I can experience GOTR through her eyes.
Thank you, Coach Kristin!
Find out more about the Hyland teacher team here!