EAST GREENWICH — Our Lady of Mercy has participated in the Girls on the Run program for the second year in a row. Each season, the program wraps up its 10-week, biweekly training with a celebratory 5K held recently. The runners handled the course at Warwick City Park like pros and were constantly cheered on by hundreds of supporters, including the Providence College girls softball team.
According to OLM teachers Denise Palizza and Jennifer Nygren, “Girls on The Run is a fabulous national program, and we are so lucky that parents have brought this opportunity to our young girl students of OLM. The lessons of teamwork, planning and practicing to reach a goal, and confidence building activities are priceless. It’s inspiring to see the girls feeling so empowered on race day. Their enthusiasm is contagious and it truly is a treat to run with them!”
Girls on the Run is an international organization that serves close to 200,000 girls each year with over 200 councils in all 50 states. Started in 1996 with just 13 girls in Charlotte, N.C., the organization’s mission goes far beyond teaching girls to run. More than 100,000 volunteer coaches and leaders are dedicated to incorporating important social, psychological and physical lessons to help foster self-confidence, commitment and a better understanding of themselves, their peers and the world around them.
According to coaches Jennifer Sheehan, Kathleen Ringler, Courtney Cavanagh, Lee Mita and Caitlyn Costa, “Every week the girls come out prepared to challenge themselves and us. We are in awe of their determination and commitment. Our goal is that they will come away from the experience with a better sense of self and respect for others while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”