Stories And Inspiration
GO FAR Group Gets Motivation, Inspiration From Coaches Who Go FarSubmitted by Anonymous on Feb 15th 2016 - 10:00AM. | Perma Link
Smiles. Laughter. That’s what stands out when Lori Kirk and her team talk about their GO FAR experience at Greensboro’s Sedgefield Elementary.
They put hard work and sweat in to be sure. But in nearly a dozen years of GO FAR, the effort has brought good memories.
Kirk brought GO FAR to Sedgefield in 2004 after hearing about another PE teacher’s experience with it. At first, she held GO FAR during PE class for all of her students and 15–20 kids attended the High Point race.
Through the years, as her club has grown, she has encouraged other teachers at her school to join her. The club now meets after school.
Her dedication to the club, and to the kids, has never wavered. She wants to see it grow because she knows what a big pay-off it is for the kids, boosting their self-discipline and self-esteem.
“I have some students that run each race that have shown better behavior in my class,” she said. “They are the ones who are answering the questions now during our training. They have also slowed down and run their own pace at the start now so that they can finish strong. They are also more conscious of their teammates and other kids on the street.”
Kirk pays out-of-pocket for some of her students to participate.
“She’d come with coins—pennies, nickels—to get these kids’ registrations,” said GO FAR Founder Robin Lindsay.
“I sold shirts for $3, $4 to raise money for kids to participate,” Kirk said. “If they were interested in running, that’s what it was all about. I didn’t want to keep anyone from running.”
Yvonne Stewart, involved with the club since the beginning, sees those changes in self-esteem in the students. “For them just to do a 5K is huge.”
Changes aren’t limited to the students though. GO FAR inspired Stewart to run longer races, and she completed a marathon in 2013. “It’s inspired me to keep running and be healthy and keep active,” she said.
Kirk has seen benefits too. “Surprisingly, GO FAR has not only made runners out of my students, but it has made one out of me too,” she said. “My endurance is so much better now. Who knows, a half marathon may be in my future!”
The students are inspired. “I never realized how much of an impact it had on my kids till this year,” Stewart said. “I’m out there running because I want them to be healthy.” She realized the effect this had on her students when one approached her and said, “I’m a good runner like you are.”
Kirk knows the importance of the connections the students make, with each other and with the staff. “They like seeing the teachers,” she said. “That kind of gets them motivated.”
Principal Michele Meley participates in the GO FAR races with her students. When a student passed her during a race, his excitement was obvious. “He’s real quiet. When he went past me, he was not real quiet!”
Above: Sedgefield Elementary's GO FAR team with GO FAR Founder Robin Lindsay. From left, Cheria Troxler-Singleton, Melissa Cholewa, Yvonne Stewart, Lori Kirk, Robin Lindsay, Michele Meley, Trevia Sutton, and Dai'niah Troxler, former GO FAR participant.