On December 6, 2015, the Girls on the Run (GOTR) McKees Rocks chapter will be running in a 5K race at North Park – in style – wearing the newest athletic gear from Kohl’s.
Last month during one of the team’s weekly practices, all 15 girls were surprised with gift bags from the department store. Each girl received FILA and Tek Gear running pants, a FILA shirt, socks, Nike headband and snacks to keep them hydrated.
“I love running in my new clothes,” said Alexis Mudryk, a 12-year-old member of GOTR.
Mudryk along with the other girls expressed how comfortable they felt in their new clothes.
GOTR is a national organization that inspires girls ages 8-13 to feel happy, healthy and confident by offering a fun, experience-based curriculum that integrates running.
The new clothing is meant to inspire the girls to feel confident amongst other runners at their upcoming race and to make sure they’re properly dressed.
Throughout October, Kohl’s celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Yes2You Rewards campaign and the success of the program by surprising many of their customers and employees across the nation.
“The clothing made them feel like they are a part of a team,” said GOTR Assistant Coach Lisa Drentkiewicz.
Without the gear from Kohl’s, Drentkiewicz said many of the girls would have had to wear uncomfortable running attire like jeans to their upcoming 5K.
The coordination of the surprise began on Twitter when Kohl’s started following Drentkiewicz and most likely saw the photos of the GOTR on her Twitter profile. Kohl’s then reached out to Drentkiewicz about the surprise, coordinated it with her then flew into Pittsburgh from New York.
According to Maggie Lund, Kohl’s public relations assistant manager, the department store surprised the McKees Rocks chapter because of its coach’s dedication to training and having fun with the team.
Head Coach Aisling McIntyre and Assistant Coaches Leah Marmo and Drentkiewicz train the girls each week by running a mile with them. They make it fun by chasing the girls and rewarding them with pizza parties afterwards.
Along with training for the race, McIntyre follows the GOTR curriculum that teaches the girls lessons about bullying, peer pressure and how to develop life skills.
“Girls on the Run has taught us how to treat others with respect and I think that’s important,” said Jessica Patterson, a 14-year-old GOTR member.
The GOTR McKees Rocks chapter was established August 2015 –making this group of girls the inaugural class to have participated in the program in McKees Rocks. They will celebrate the end of the season with a banquet on December 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Father Ryan Arts Center.
If you know a girl who is 8-13 years old and is interested in joining GOTR, email Lisa Drentkiewicz.