COACH SPOTLIGHT : Kellie Jenkins

Name: Kellie JenkinsCarson28

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Age: 43

Favorite Hobbies: Baking and reading cookbooks! So in order to achieve some balance in my life, it is lucky I also like staying fit with running, HIIT/strength workouts, cycling, skiing and hiking.

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: After a fun and noisy practice, I am a big fan of the silent WoW award!

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? This is my 6th season coaching at Carson Elementary. I am also a member of the GOTR Rockies Board.

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I am a runner, a Mom to an 8 year old daughter and in my professional life I have been involved in leadership development. As such, Girls on the Run is the perfect combination of all the things that I am passionate about … helping girls develop confidence and a sense of self through running.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? I almost feel that I get more out of being a coach than the girls do. The lessons are a great reminder of how we can all be the best version of ourselves and develop healthy relationships with friends, family and the community.

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What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? The girls learn the value of being their true selves and they go away with practical strategies that they can use every day to confidently navigate the social and emotional challenges that they face growing up.

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? In my first season as a coach we had one girl who was quiet, unsure of herself and reluctant to share her thoughts with the group. But as the season progressed she began to realize what she was capable of … she almost had a look of shock on her face when she completed her first 5K. When she returned the following season she proudly told us she had run a 5K race every month since the end of the prior season. She was like a different girl, brimming with confidence and enthusiasm, and a positive role model within our team.

What’s your favorite day of the season? Without a doubt, the Practice 5K. For many of the girls it is the first time they have run a full 5K, and it makes my heart full to see them cross the finish line with such a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Why should other women get involved? It will be one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences in your life. You will not only build relationships with girls in your community, but you will have the privilege of watching them grow and develop a sense of confidence that will set them up for future success.