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PC student-athletes support the strides of young runners

Providence College rang with supportive cheers and the loud patter of feet as PC student-athletes helped Girls on the Run (GOTR) stride through campus with confidence.

Girls on the Run Rhode Island (GOTRRI) is a non-profit development program for girls ages 8-13. The program combines running, community service, and personal development in order to instill confidence in young girls and to encourage healthy living.

The 10-week program incorporates 20 lessons on self-awareness, teamwork, nutrition, and service. Participants translate their lessons into experience by creating and performing service projects in the community. Their training culminates with the goal of running a 5K.

More than 100 female PC student-athletes from field hockey, softball, ice hockey, track, cross-country, soccer, and tennis jumped at the chance to support over 100 young runners when Providence College held the GOTTRI 5K on its campus this fall.

The student-athletes first wrote individual letters to participants, sharing feelings of encouragement and confidence with the girls before their big race day.

“These girls really look up to us, and it means a lot to see that what we do matters,” said Marie Flego ’14 (Little Silver, N.J), a member of the women’s softball team. “They are reminders for us as to why we do everything we do with our sport.”

The lawn in front of the Slavin Center was full of music, laughter, and excitement on the morning of the 5K as the girls talked with family and their new PC friends before the race. After the girls warmed up on the Ray Treacy Track, the excitement grew even more as the race began.

While the participants ran through campus, GOTTRI volunteers and PC student-athletes stood at every turn with shouts of encouragement and supportive cheers.

“Having the PC students there helped us,” said GOTTRI participant Rachel Girard, 12. “I liked how they were there to cheer us on towards the finish line as we were running.”

As the race drew to a close and the last runners rounded the final turn, they were followed by a pack of student-athletes whose encouraging shouts ensured that every runner was cheered on in pursuit of their goal.

“The college kids provided a great, pure energy for the girls,” said Rachel’s mother, Ethne Girard. “They were cheering and screaming, and it really pumped the runners up. It was amazing.”

— Nick Tavares ’16

 
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