University News

Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts to Host "Breath and Believe 2023" Fall 5K at Western New England University

Published: November 03, 2023 | Categories: All News

November 19, 2023

WNE Spirit attending the June Girls on the Run event.

Girls on the Run of WMA (GOTR-WMA) will host its Fall 5K celebration, Breath and Believe 2023, on Sunday, November 19 at Western New England University. This event marks the culmination of a 10-week program that empowers girls in 3rd to 8th grade through physical activities and life skills development.

During the program, girls engage in lessons that aim to boost self-confidence, foster peer connections, and promote community service. The highlight of the season is the celebratory 5K event that encourages participants to put their newfound skills into action.

Jennifer Kolins, acting director of Athletics and Recreation at Western New England University, shares her personal journey, "I grew up in inner-city Philadelphia and was fortunate to have mentors who encouraged me to believe that anything was possible. I went on to play collegiate tennis and then coached the men's and women's tennis teams here at WNE for 21 years. I know the Girls on the Run program is teaching those same life skills and instilling values that encourage physical, emotional, and social well-being that will have a lasting impact on their success."

This fall, GOTR-WMA has seen an impressive turnout, with 730 enthusiastic participants and the dedicated support of 220 volunteer coaches. The event kicks off with group warm-up activities starting at 10:00 a.m., and the run beginning at 11:00 a.m. Participants can arrive as early as 9:30 a.m. to enjoy fun events and engage with the vibrant GOTR-WMA community.

"We are elated that Girls on The Run is becoming part of the tradition of our commitment to empower girls," said Kolins. "The female student-athletes, coaches, and administrators at WNE have been dedicated to paving the way for future generations of girls to believe in themselves and their inner strength. Seeing the motivation, connections, confidence, and determination of the Girls on the Run on our own campus truly inspires us."

The event is open to the public, and all proceeds will benefit Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts. Last season's 5K brought together a remarkable 4,000 participants, including program participants, their families, friends, and community members.

For those interested in participating or volunteering for this inspiring event, please visit for additional information. Registration costs are $30 for adults and $10 for youth, and early arrival is recommended.