The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 26, 2014

Y to add boys Stride program

Modeled after Girls on the Run program, Stride aims to build character in boys

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As of now, Stride will have a fall and spring session, each of which will be 10 weeks and end with a 5K race. It will meet twice weekly and focus on character building.

And while it will be similar to Girls on the Run in many ways — they may even have joint 5K races — there are key differences in the kind of help participants may need.

In a girls program, body image is a key focus point. With boys, Hamond says, one of the focus points is directing boys away from being constantly competitive with each other and instead being sources of encouragement for all.

Hamond runs the YMCA's mentoring programs and says the programs have many boys on a waiting list waiting for a mentor. It takes about a year to line a boy up with a mentor. This program, while it won't replace the mentoring, can help some of the same boys.

It's too soon to sign up for Stride, but anyone with questions can call the YMCA and ask for Hamond. It is expected to cost $125. For those who cannot afford it, the Y offers financial assistance.

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