YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina

Get Involved

Volunteering for Girls on the Run and STRIDE is fun and rewarding. We provide training, support and supplies to our volunteers throughout the season. Although it can be time consuming, volunteers come back season after season because volunteering allows them to truly make an impact in our community. Read below for more information on volunteering with the program or contact us today!



Head Coach/Site Liaison

  • Prefer to be connected with the school (i.e. a teacher or parent)
  • Serve as link between site, coaches and county coordinator or GOTR/STRIDE Director
  • Manage team recruitment and registration
  • GOTR - must be female
  • Manage coaching volunteers
  • Prepare and lead lessons
  • Commit to two practices/week unless sharing head coach duties
  • Encourage parents, teachers, and other staff to run 5k race

Assistant Coach

  • Assist with lesson instruction and planning of program events and celebrations
  • Commit to one or two practices/week

Practice Partners

  • Want to be involved but can't commit to regularly attend practice
  • Run with the girls and provide encouragement at practice and on race day

Running Buddies

  • During the 5k race each girl participating is required to have a running buddy who is 18 years or older to run with her.
  • Running buddies may begin running with the participant prior to the race day by attending the GOTR afterschool meetings.
  • Each running buddy is required to have a background check (The Wilmington Family YMCA will administer this)

*At least one coach needs to be CPR certified and on-site each time the program participants meet.


Other Volunteer Opportunities:

5k Race Committee
  • planning
  • logistics
  • sponsorships
  • marketing
  • social media


  • tshirt/supply delivery
  • site visits/substitute coaching
  • data entry
  • site recruitment

SoleMates - The official Girls on the Run Fundraising platform


Frequently Asked Questions About Coaching:

Do I need to be a runner to coach GOTR/STRIDE?
No. To coach GOTR and STRIDE you do not need to run. You need to have a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.

Do you provide training?
Yes. We provide a four hour training session, coaching guides, and support every step along the way!

Do I have to come to every GOTR/STRIDE practice?
Yes. Head coaches do need to come to every GOTR/STRIDE practice. Assistant coaches must commit to one or two days per week. Two coaches must be present at all practices.

How long does it take to prepare for a lesson before practice?
It depends on the lesson and where we are in the season. Some lessons might have a few more pieces to cut or supplies to get ready than others. Also, as the season goes along, you get into the flow of the lessons and can read them and fee more prepare more quickly. On average, we suggest allowing 30 minutes to read and review the lesson before you coach them.

How many girls/boys will I be coaching?
A team consists of 8-20 girls/boys.

Who can coach?
Anyone who is willing to donate their time to these young girls and boys. GOTR head coach must be a female and assistant coaches can be male or female. STRIDE head coach can be either male or female.

What should I expect from girls/boy this age?
From the girls: Energy, cliques, limited attention span, openly express affection, variation in reading levels, low self-esteem, seeking attention and constantly growing, learning and developing. Read our Coach Playbook of how to deal with all the different characteristics described! 

From the boys: Energy, groups, trouble paying attention, humor, reading levels, differences in attitudes, body image and mentor seeking. Read our STRIDE Guidebook on how to deal with all the different characteristics described!

How long is each session?
Each session is about 75-90 minutes long.

Can a coach be a running buddy?
Yes! Just make sure you have the same pace. A running buddy must stick with the child the entire time of the race. Every child must have a running buddy.

Can more than one child run with a running buddy?
Yes! A running buddy can run with more than one child. However, pair up running buddies with children who have the same pace.

How many running buddies can run with a child?
Only one running buddy per child. However, a running buddy can run with more than one child.