Waltersville School Girls Cross Country - a Team with a real T.E.A.M approach
If the old saying, "The family that runs together, stays together" is one of the hallmarks of the Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5K Road Race, then the students at Waltersville School, a nationally recognized school located in the East Side of Bridgeport, Connecticut focused on education in the performing arts, must be one, big happy family! You may have spotted the girls from their Cross Country Team them in the race before, and this will be their third year running as a group - and they will have their largest turnout yet.
The head coach of the Waltersville team is Kristina Comeau-Ramos. She started the team along with third grade teacher Siobhan Russell in the spring of 2007. They began the team to get girls interested in a sport, get fit and get up off the couch. In an era when obesity is becoming the new national disease, the timing could not have been better.
Listen to Siobhan's description of what takes place at Waltersville:
"Many girls in a multicultural community have low self esteem, and not a great deal of extra curricular activities. We have seen an improvement in grades, attitude and self esteem in our girls. Most inner city activities are geared towards the boys. We knew Waltersville was going to be one of several new schools that would be pre-k through grade 8. She and I wanted the girls to have a sport they could participate in when they got to high school.
We begin practices three days a week in the second week of school. We run as a group for 30 min. to start, trying to get everyone to run as a team, develop team spirit and sportsmanship. The girls are taught to encourage each other and work together. Our motto is "Together Everyone Acheives More". In October we start running on the street. We being running 30 minutes then work up to walking less and running more. We end October running 2 miles a day.
We are now very excited to run in the Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day Race. This is our biggest group yet. Looking forward to the big day. The parents really love the race and what it does for their girls!! The principal Ann de Bernard will also come to cheer on the girls, her two granddaughters will run on the team."
We welcome the girls from Waltersville back to our race family and congratulate them on their efforts. They are an example for all of us of the real value of sports.
The Waltersville team with Race Chairman Tom Wilson prior to the start of the 2009 race.
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