Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

May 14, 2013

Girls on the Run uplifts members

10th anniversary celebrated here

— Appetizers and socializing opened the Girls on the Run® of Margaret Mary Health Evening of Gratitude May 9 at RomWeber Marketplace.

Council director Lynn Hertel told about 150 that families report the self-esteem and confidence of participants are skyrocketing. “We are definitely making a difference and I don’t see that changing.”

GOTR began here 10 years ago when Speaking of Women’s Health organizers wanted to invest ticket proceeds and Trish Hunter, now MMH director of support services, suggested the national program. Two Batesville women have been directors, first Rita Wilder and now Hertel.

Girls on the Run® of Margaret Mary Health, aimed at students in grades 3-5, started with 45 girls and nine coaches at Batesville, South Ripley and Jac-Cen-Del schools, according to the director. Milan and Sunman joined the next season. In 2008 Greensburg Elementary and North Decatur were added, with South Decatur coming on board in 2009, St. Nicholas in 2010 and St. Mary’s this season. “We’re pretty pleased” every school in Ripley and Decatur counties is participating.

Girls on Track, for females in grades 6-8, is currently offered at Batesville Middle, South Ripley and North Decatur Elementary schools, she explained.

Teams consisting of eight to 20 girls and two to four coaches meet twice a week after school.

With two 10-week sessions each year, “This season we’re serving 273 girls with the help of 66 coaches at 10 different sites. Every season our numbers always grow ...  We have good word of mouth. It’s contagious.”

The night was filled with applause. Hertel, the only paid staff member, recognized 336 coaches plus other citizens over the past decade, pointing out each 5K requires 90 helpers. “Without the volunteers, this wouldn’t be taking place.”

Margaret Mary Health leaders also were thanked for financial and other support. The director praised Harold and Kathy Weiler, owner of Hertel Shoes, Batesville, for fitting participants for shoes at many sites. “Some of these girls have literally never had a new pair of shoes.”

Hertel observed the program helps girls “talk about the things deep down inside themselves.”

In a local video, one coach said they discuss “bullying, being friendly to one another and nutrition.” Another reported, “Girls on the Run® allows girls to come out of their shells.”

According to one child, “It’s a lot more than ‘You have to run.’” The director noted, “You’re taught to be who you are, be the best person you can be.”

The nonprofit’s 10th 5K here took place May 11 at Liberty Park. The video showed excited girls in pink shirts at a previous event. According to Hertel, “We do a lot of cheers to get them excited.” A coach explained, “As soon as the gun sounds, they’re off.” Hertel added, “To see these little girls cross the finish line is really moving. There’s always someone crying somewhere.” Each finisher receives a medal. One girl said the race “makes you feel like you’ve accomplished a lot .... It makes you feel so good about yourself.”

GOTR founder Molly Barker, Charlotte, N.C., traced the reason for the initiative back to her Southern childhood. Trying to fit in at a new school, she decided to become “Molly the Runner Girl.” But after a tumble on the track, she was sidelined and embarrassed. “My future was dashed.” Barker began thinking, “‘You’re not pretty enough. You’re not smart enough.”

Molly’s mother invited the girl to go running. “It was during those morning hours the seeds for this program were planted. The birds began their symphony before the morning light” and the pair were running and breathing in rhythm. “I discovered when I ran, all those negative messages ... just went away.”

As a young mother, Barker began meeting with 13 girls after school, wrote a curriculum and showed it to her GOTR partner, who bounced it off her educator mom. The mother said, “‘Molly, what you have here is amazing. The question is, Do you keep it to yourself and affect 100 kids a year or do you give it away and affect millions?’” Barker realized, “‘Maybe I’m sitting on the edge of a movement.’ Two weeks later Runner’s World called. Five cities came on board. It’s just been like that ever since.”

The four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete continued, “I can’t believe how big this program is. I’ll be driving down an interstate far, far from Charlotte and there will be a Girls on the Run® bumper sticker on the car next to me ... it’s just so cool!”

Barker told the story of fourth-grader Taylor, who lives in her hometown and has the degenerative and fatal Batten disease. The founder watched the girl at a GOTR practice 5K.

Because one of Taylor’s symptoms was loss of eyesight, a high school student was her running buddy, their pinkies attached by a string to give the younger student direction. The other members, already finished, asked, “‘Taylor, can we join you?’ All 14 teammates ... just surrounded her like a little cocoon. They are talking to her and loving her.

“Somewhere over the course of that lap, her helper slipped out and Taylor’s string dropped. That little girl knew the freedom of running with no restrictions. I’ll never forget seeing her run down that track for 100 yards, completely unencumbered.”

Barker said the program she created is about helping girls escape stereotypes so they become “as free to be themselves as Taylor was that day.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Fire figthers respond quickly Firefighters respond quickly

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clawson in Batesville Clawson wins special primary in southwest Florida

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Armed robbery investigated

    An early morning armed robbery April 22 at K & K Mini Mart, 332 S. Meridian St., Sunman, is being investigated, according to a press release from the Ripley County Sheriff's Office.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ten submit bids for demolition of structure SUNMAN - Sunman Town Council members covered a lot of ground at their April 17 meeting. Bids for the demolition of the former Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Special Education Cooperative building were opened. Ten contractors submitted bids, ranging from $86,95

    April 22, 2014

  • Circle these dates on summer calendar On its 41st anniversary, a new headliner will open the three-night Batesville Music and Arts Festival. "A Summer Evening in the Park" is the theme of a performance by the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra Wednesday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Liberty Park. C

    April 22, 2014

  • nws - bv042214 - Bradley, Rob Three Republicans set sights on sheriff's office Three Republicans, are competing for Ripley County sheriff. They come from a variety of backgrounds, but all want to do their part to make the county safer for its citizens. Rob Bradley says, "My motivation for wanting to be sheriff has been a part

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • nws - bv042214 - Thompson, Josh Two Democrats running for sheriff Two Ripley County residents are vying for sheriff on the Democratic ticket. Josh Thompson wants the job "to help this county tackle the drug issues and break-ins and to make the people of this county feel safe." Timothy Sutton says, "I don't look at

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Citizens asked to take parks survey An online survey is being conducted now to solicit community input on park needs, possible projects and project prioritization. Answers will help the Batesville Parks and Recreation Board formulate a five-year master plan, required by the Indiana Dep

    April 22, 2014

  • nws - bv042214 - BBW (recycling speaker) Local recycling center considered Mayor Rick Fledderman and Aaron Bell, Southeastern Indiana Recycling District executive director, have been working for several years to try to get a recycling center for rural residents in Batesville. At the April 14 Batesville Board of Works meeti

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Statistics show need for active living During an April 10 Active Living Workshop in Batesville, organizers Zia Brucaya, Indiana Complete Streets Coalition coordinator with the nonprofit Health by Design; Lindsey Bouza, Indiana State Department of Health Division of Nutrition and Physical

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Photo Gallery


Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook