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Girls on the Run and YMCA Promote Health, Self-Esteem

Girls on the Run and the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit will celebrate the end of a 10-week program with a 5K run

YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit Girls on the Run Program
hermanoff pr

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit will celebrate the end of a successful season of “Girls on the Run” on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 10 a.m. when 1,200 girls participate in the “Girls on the Run of Greater Detroit 5K” on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

The non-competitive and untimed 5K run will mark the completion of a 10-week program called “Girls on the Run.” The Greater Detroit chapter is an affiliate program of the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and Girls on the Run International.

More than 1,200 girls, from third through eighth grade, learn life lessons through running with the Girls on The Run program. Not only do they develop themselves as runners — a physical activity they can enjoy for a lifetime — they learn lessons about self-esteem, peer pressure, and stress management, among other themes.

“The Girls on the Run philosophy is to teach girls to honor their bodies, celebrate their voices, embrace their gifts and activate their power, Jacqueline Kippen, council director for Girls on the Run of Metropolitan Detroit.

There are 98 teams from 70 schools and organizations participating in the run. Nationally there are 80,000 girls that participate in the Girls on the Run Program which was started in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“We use running as the tool to teach girls about positive self-esteem and life skills. We teach them that they don’t have to be perfect - but be the best they can become,” said Kippen. “We want to girls to be emotionally and physically healthy.”

The Girls on the Run program combats toxic messages with exercise and mentoring relationships to educate and empower girls an early age to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. The program is proven to help young girls gain a stronger sense of identity, self-confidence, a healthy body image and learn how to be a team player.

“I joined the Girls on the Run program because I thought it would be a good way to exercise and be a part of something that was bigger than me,” said Nina Joss, a former participant from Detroit. “The most rewarding part of the program was the 5K,” she added. “It’s the most amazing feeling to cross the finish line on race day. You feel like you have just conquered all of the fears you ever had and you’re on top of the world.”

Girls on the Run is the leading positive youth development program for girls with evidence-based results. Unlike traditional athletic programs, Girls on the Run combines physical activity with self improvement philosophies to mold healthy attitudes about exercise, body image and eating.

Registration for the Fall 2013 season will begin on July 1. The fall season runs from September 16- November 20 and will end with a non-competitive 5K run on November. The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit expects to enroll 2,000 girls for the 2013-2014 school year. To register for the program, donate in-kind items, volunteer or to learn more information, please visit

About Girls on the Run International
Girls on the Run® is a life-changing, experiential learning program for girls age eight to thirteen years old. The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development. For more information, visit

About the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Throughout Metro Detroit, Y's engage more than 300,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the region’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in communities throughout Metro Detroit, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

For more information go to or contact Chad Creekmore at (313) 223-2487. @ymcadetroit on Twitter.

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