By YVETTE COLMANT
ASHEVILLE – It was a beautiful morning in Asheville on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 for the start of the Girls on the Run 5K race. Seventeen students, with the support of their Cherokee Choices Mentors, made it out with the intent to finish strong. They had been working toward this goal since September meeting twice weekly for 14 weeks.
Cherokee Choice’s mentor Tara McCoy explained, “We provide this program to the girls because it works. The girls work on running, but they also work on being good team members, and then focus on how they can contribute to their community.”
Aiyanna West, a fourth grader, anxiously waiting for the race start stated, “Can I just get out there and run? I just want to run!”
This team was joined with 1500 runners from WNC Girls on the Run chapters and other local runners.
Girls on the Run is an internationally recognized non-profit program focused on the development of girls in 3rd through 5th grade. The program’s objective is to reduce the potential display of at-risk activities among its participants. It includes training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. Coaches encourage positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development in the participants.
This spring, Cherokee Choices Mentors will continue Cherokee Elementary Girls on the Run and Swain East Elementary Girls on the Run programs.
For more information on Girls on the Run, visit the WNC Girls on the Run web site at https://www.gotrwnc.org, or call Tara McCoy 497-1976 or Yvette Colmant at 497-1978.