Girls Thrive (GT) is on a mission to inspire girls to empower themselves through a variety of sports and educational activities designed to improve self-confidence, self-esteem and positive body image. Currently, GT offers three sessions throughout the year that are available to girls in grades 6-12. GT provides program scholarships, bikes, and biking and running gear to any girl in need who wants to participate.
During GT’s core programs in the fall and spring, girls meet three times per week for mountain biking, running, cross-training and a variety of educational lessons. Current cross-training activities included in the curriculum are: yoga, indoor rock climbing, self-defense, kickboxing, hiking, swimming and local trail maintenance. A vast variety of educational topics are covered: proper running and biking safety, form and technique, gaining and maintaining positive body image, philanthropy, nutrition, hydration, good decision-making, teamwork, handling peer pressure, and many more. Guest speakers are recruited to discuss specific topics with the participants.
Helena, Montana City, East Helena
GT has a positive impact on the Helena community by teaching and role-modeling positive messages, as well as healthy behaviors to girls. Research has demonstrated that this is a particularly vulnerable age group, as this is the age when most risky behaviors such as drug use, etc. begin. Moreover, this is also the age when girls tend to lose self-confidence and positive body image.
At GT, we want to prevent girls from experiencing these negative thoughts and behaviors by teaching them to treat themselves, their bodies and others with respect and finding a love in lifetime sports. Research has demonstrated that participation in sports is statistically proven to not only reduce the risk of drug use, smoking, and other risky behaviors, but also increase girls’ self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as improve educational performance. This creates a healthier lifestyle and an overall well-being for GT participants, which therefore enhances the Helena community.
GT needs to raise money to continue to provide program scholarships, bikes, helmets, running shoes and other gear for those who cannot afford it. These are necessary items to ensure safety and ability to participate in both the mountain biking and running programs.
As our program has expanded, so too have our operational costs. Our 12 bikes need constant maintenance, we need our space to provide the program, volunteer background checks, curriculum costs and supplies, healthy snacks, safety items, swag items to make the girls feel like a team, and more add up over the sessions.
Other fundraising efforts consist of local events such as the Lewis & Clark Run to the Brewery event, Windbag Cares, and Blackfoot’s Community Monday.
Funds from the Lewis & Clark Ales for Charity Night will be used to provide scholarships and purchase bikes, helmets, running shoes and other gear for those in need. Funds will also be used to maintain and repair bikes.