October 11th marks International Day of the Girl Child. Join us this year in highlighting awareness of the day with #grtwunstoppable
It’s an initiative now supported by organisations around the globe, who call for a world where every girl can realise basic humans rights, such as to live free from violence, to attend and complete school, to choose when and whom she marries, and to earn equal pay for equal work. Progress has been made but there’s still a long way to go, as we all know.
Empowerment of women is one of the core values that underpins everything we do here at Girls Run the World too. Granted, running doesn’t solve everything but it does build confidence in what it is possible to achieve, which translates to all areas of life.
And it’s an activity that is perhaps unparalleled in terms of its accessibility and potential to benefit girls and women, both mentally and physically.
Not only does running help boost our health and fitness, it helps us to sharpen our mental toolboxes, and fortifies us to face life’s ups and downs.
Lots of attention has rightly shown how good running is for boosting mental health but the mental well being aspects are often forgotten. These include helping:
- Develop time management and goal setting skills.
- Teach self respect and the value of hard work and commitment.
- Building self-esteem and confidence in the belief that anything is possible.
In short, running is a great gift to pass on to girls, giving them the means to build their own physical and mental strength and resilience, empowering them to feel unstoppable.
The theme of the United Nation’s campaign this year is Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable. We are inviting you to join us in celebrating #InternationalDayoftheGirl by getting outside and running with your daughters, granddaughters, nieces or friend and sharing your #grtwgirlsareunstoppable experience with us.
How to run with your young daughters
* Choose a place that she likes – run around the local park – or see how long it takes to run somewhere that you would usually walk or drive to (e.g. surprise a friend or family member by running to their house?)
* Let her be the guide – does she want to chat, or concentrate on the experience?
* Acknowledge that running is hard – but the more we do it, the easier it gets!
* If running with younger children, consider ‘gameifying’ it – set small, achievable targets for them to beat (can we reach that tree before the bus does?) then let them decide on the next target. You might be surprised how far they want to challenge themselves!
* Offer regular encouragement and praise them when they put the effort in. Be as specific and sincere as possible (‘you did really well to keep running up that hill!’ or ‘It was great to hear you encouraging your sister’ – is more meaningful than ‘you were great!’)
* Be a good role model. Most girls will follow the lead of their Mums (or other influential women). You don’t have to be perfect – in fact some of the most valuable lessons kids learn are from seeing adults taking on something new and challenging, and persevering. The main thing is to show willing to try out new things together, and share your feelings along the way (‘that was so hard, but I feel so great that we did it!’)
We hope they might just fall in love with running. But if they don’t just yet, try and try again – one day they will thank you, and maybe, so will their daughters!
Don’t forget to tag @g_r_t_w for a chance to be featured on our page!