A new workshop providing mentorship, positive role modeling, and physical activity will be getting underway in early April.
Laura Spruyt, Licensee and Coach for Sole Girls, is excited to offer this new tween program combining girl empowerment and running to both the Cochrane and Bragg Creek areas. "Sole Girls is for tween girls ages 8 to 12 and we'll be spending some fun time and exploring activities on friendship, healthy living, body image, self-esteem with some strong female mentorship."
Keeping girls active and engaged in sports is important to Spruyt, and all girls are welcome regardless of physical performance. "I think it's a really important program because often times girls drop out of sports at a far higher rate than boys so that is definitely part of it. "
Focusing in on why being a girl is so awesome, Spruyt says Sole Girls will not only prepare the girls to complete a 5-kilometre run but also provide an opportunity for building confidence, positivity, and why it is so important for young girls to be confident in their own skin. "There are so many concerns that start to happen in that tween age group. It is when peers start having a strong influence on youth versus the parent influence and so it's a really important time for them to develop those skills, learn to problem solve, and be confident in their choices."
Meeting up at the Clubhouse in the Cochrane Ranche Historic Park, the program will run for nine weeks on Wednesday's (Tuesday's Bragg Creek) from 5:30 to 7 p.m. "We are inside the Clubhouse, or if nice outside. The first 45 minutes to an hour will be activity based on some of those skills and topics, and then those activities will lead to a debriefing opportunity where we can have some juicy conversation with the girls. Then we'll go outside and do some activities, games, and drills to help them improve and be confident in their running."
Getting into running as a way to empower herself and feel strong and capable after leaving a stressful job, Laura has gone from a beginner runner to now an ultramarathoner. Wanting to gift girls what she has learned is what it is all about. "This is a great way for me to build community, I love Cochrane, and running has been that tool for me. The reason I wanted to get Sole Girls going is that I want to be able to give back to that community and give others the chance to see what it can do for them and help them grow."
Spruyt is hoping to have at least 10 tween girls sign up, but says the more the merrier. The nine-week Sole Girls program gets underway in Cochrane on April 3rd and will prepare the girls to run in Footstock planned for June 2nd. Registration is now open, in which you can do so HERE, and costs $220 which includes a t-shirt.
Those parents/interested community members wanting to provide mentorship are also invited to contact Spruyt at [email protected]
Looking down the road, Laura shares if proving to be a success, summer camps and growing the program are all definitely in the cards.