Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts held it’s 5k celebration at Smith College Sunday morning.
Though the 5k was the main event, the Girls on the Run program is about more than running.
The event celebrates the completion of a 10-week event that helps promote the physical and mental well-being of girls 3rd to 8th grade.
“This is the age, especially with girls you see confidence starts to decline, you don’t see them as active in athletics, so yeah it’s a great age,” Girls on the Run Western Massachusetts Council Director Allison Berman said.
“Sometimes the whole mean girl thing pops up around that age so that’s why we try to hold them tightly and help them feel secure so they don’t have to resort to that behavior,” Girls on The Run Coach Lisa Hamilton said.
Girls who took part in the run told 22News they’ve noticed a difference physically and emotionally since they first began the program.
“I didn’t really know how to stand up for myself with bullying and stuff. But this program showed me how to do that if anything happens to me,” Girls on the Run participant Lucy Hoyt said.
“I feel more social, I have new friends, I have people I trust more and this really helps you grow as a person,” Girls on the Run participant Kaylon Tyler said.
Hamilton said she hopes this program will continue to grow and make a difference for more girls in western Massachusetts.
“This is what we need in our community and around the country, for girls to work together and make change and we’re doing that.”