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WSF Hosts GoGirlGo! Leadership Institute

On Tuesday, November 10, the Women’s Sports Foundation conducted a Leadership Institute for its GoGirlGo! curriculum hosted by the New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the South Bronx. The day was filled with energy as program leaders from all over New York City gathered to learn how best to implement our award-winning curriculum and get the girls at their sites active.

GoGirlGo! works to improve the health of sedentary girls and keeps girls involved in physical activity by supporting programs and organizations that work with girls. The unique aspect of this curriculum is that it draws on elite athlete’s stories to relate to the girls. To date, GoGirlGo! has reached more than 1 million girls and at the Leadership Institute it is clear that that number will continue to grow with the help of these programs and their leaders.

Kimberly Agudo, a program leader with New York Junior Tennis & Learning, noted how important it is to have GoGirlGo! at her site and how “It gives [the girls] a sense of community and involvement within their own age group, so it’s easy for them to relate overall. I feel like it helps them with behavioral problems, emotional problems and overall, such as in education and their home life.”

The GoGirlGo! curriculum helps to get girls active but it also helps educate them on various life lessons, such as relationships, substance abuse and healthy practices. While these topics can be difficult, GoGirlGo! provides an easy and manageable way to broch these discussions with all girls. The Foundation reinforced how important it is to keep an open communication with the girls’ parents and decide what is right for each child independently.

“It can help with the girls’ self-esteem and being active physically,” said Raby Gueye, a girls’ program leader from the Wendy Hilliard Foundation. As the conversation continued throughout the day, one description that seemed to arise over and over was how GoGirlGo! creates a sisterhood for the girls. Not only do the program leaders connect with the girls in their class but the girls connect with one another on a personal level as they all share and open up during the classes.

GoGirlGo! helps to foster a strong bond between the girls and provides a safe space for them to connect and develop as young girls. “I think the curriculum is really relatable because it’s what these girls are actually going through and it covers the variation of what it means to be at risk,” said Irene Bucken, a program leader from PowerPlay NYC. “Some of our sites are not that at-risk, these are really good girls doing really good things but, some of the sites, they need a lot of help and they find that the topics that we are talking to them about are very relatable to what they’re going through. So, I think it’s actually pretty brilliant because I know a lot of things get lost in translation and that’s why it’s good to have the coaches follow something because if your message is not going to be received there’s no point in doing it. GoGirlGo! is a really great curriculum and the girls are really receptive to it and they love talking about these things because these are things they struggle with. It provides a really good mold for the coaches to follow.”

The need for GoGirlGo! is undeniable as one in three girls are physically active, one gets no more more than thirty minutes of physical activity a week and the third girl is sedentary. GoGirlGo! was launched in 2001 for elementary, middle and high school girls, to keep girls involved in physical activity and to improve the health of sedentary girls across the country. While New York City is our signature GoGirlGo! market, the curriculum is available nationwide.

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