Sixty-five girls from ages 7 to 17 attended the annual Get Up and Go Girl one-day workshop held at the Arctic Spas Recreation Complex in Thorsby on April 12. The program seeks to inspire healthy living, positive body image, and self-esteem. The attendees came from New Sarepta, Breton, Wetaskiwin County, Pigeon Lake, Falun, Warburg and Thorsby and were treated to an introduction to a few unique sports, healthy snacks and lunch, and a grab bag of goodies.
There were some changes this year as well. Thorsby Parks and Recreation Director, Kelley Probe explains, “We changed the format this year. We scaled the numbers back (from 100 attendees last year) so the kids could pick their own sports. We had three sports sessions and they were grouped by age and geared to that specific age group—an in-house session of Team Building with Kristen Eliasson featured puzzles, skipping and other activities. Competitive skip dancing was directed by Connectivity Dance of Leduc.” Alberta Lacrosse taught the girls the finer points of the game.
The day wrapped up with a special surprise—a disco dance and a photo booth. “It was a huge success.”
This year’s keynote, “Friendship Fires”, was presented by Dana Kerford, a teacher and the founder of GirlPower (www.urstrong.com). GirlPower is a friendship program that inspires “Tween” girls to feel empowered, develop a strong sense of self, and love themselves while learning to manage their friendships. She spoke about basic friendship facts, creative ways to stand up for yourselves when girls are mean. “The general consensus was that she made the event,” said Probe. “She has a natural ability to connect with the girls.”
Girls just wanna have fun
Half way through the day, three delightful 8-year-old Thorsby girls—Jolie, Hannah and Amelia—talked about their Go Girl experience so far.
Getting more active and enjoying friends is a good reason for attending Go Girl workshops. When asked why they chose to attend Go Girl, Jolie said she came last year with her sister and couldn’t wait to come back. Hannah came because Amelia asked her, and Amelia came because she was spending too much time in the house and wanted to get outside. The positive influence of family and friends and acting on the need to get active will inspire good choices. “Go Girl is awesome!” said Jolie with a huge smile.
The girls enjoyed trying new sports—lacrosse and skipping (during the team building event) were their favorites.
What would they say to encourage others to attend next year?
“It’s fun,” said Hannah. “You get to be active, eat breakfast and lunch. And you get stuff and prizes!”
Jolie gives a heartfelt reply, “You would be surprised if you think it’s just about sports. If you don’t come, you’re never gonna live right.” If that isn’t a winning endorsement, I don’t know what is! Thumbs up for sponsors and organizers Leduc County Parks and Rec and Thorsby Parks and Recreation, and for the Girls in Motion Provincial grant to make this great event possible.