Coaching opportunity for girls on the run

Kennedy Nolen, Multicultural Reporter


Girls on the Run of East Central Illinois is searching for coaches to inspire girls in 3rd through 8th grade during its 10-week program.

Training for these potential coaches will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA.

Council Director Sarah Dowell said Girls on the Run is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program.

Since 1996, the program has helped over a million girls, with the goal of inspiring them to be joyful, healthy and confident, Dowell said in an email. Locally, the Central Illinois Girls on the Run program has been around for 11 seasons and volunteers have worked with 2,150 girls.

Volunteer coaches will create a curriculum for teams of eight to 15 girls in interactive lessons while they run together. One of these lessons includes a service project for the community, Dowell said.

The program meets twice a week for an hour and a half for 10 weeks and ends with a 5K 9 a.m. at O’Brien Stadium on Saturday, April 8. Dowell said the 5K will bring family, friends and the community together to celebrate the girls’ growth.

All volunteers must be 18 years or older. If seeking a head coach position, they must be at least 21. A background check and training session are mandatory.

Potential Coles County times and sites a volunteer would be coaching at are as follows: 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Carl Sandburg Elementary School in Charleston; 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Jefferson Elementary School in Charleston; 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA; 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Riddle Elementary School in Mattoon; and 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Williams Elementary School in Mattoon.

To volunteer as a coach, those interested can call Sarah Dowell at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA at 217-234-9494.


Kennedy Nolen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].