Taking its more than three-year partnership with Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay to the next level, UnitedHealthcare boosted its support to become the naming title sponsor for the spring 2019 after-school program training season and 5K celebration race.

Due to funding increases from UnitedHealthcare, other community partners and the two annual races organized by Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay, a non-profit organization, the spring 2019 program is expanding into middle schools with the “Heart and Sole” program. In total, the Spring 2019, 10-week session will provide 600 girls in the third through eighth grades with after-school 5K and life-skills training. The program’s reach includes 43 schools in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties, whose participation will help prepare the girls to cross the finish line at the UnitedHealthcare Girls on the Run 5K on May 4. UnitedHealthcare’s support includes funding more than 20 program scholarships for girls and schools based on financial need.

“We are very grateful for UnitedHealthcare’s support, which has allowed us to continue to expand and grow participation in the Sarasota/Tampa region,” said Laura Moore, executive director for Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay. “The partnership is an ideal fit given UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to wellness and supporting community-based programs that educate youth and families about the benefits of healthy living and exercise.”

The Girls on the Run training sessions teach life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games that build confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. Each session culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete the UnitedHealthcare Girls on the Run 5K, a celebratory race held at Poynter Park in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla., Saturday, May 4.

Girls on the Run participant research study findings

Findings from an independent study show the Girls on the Run program has a significant impact on girls’ lives, with 97 percent learning critical life skills and 85 percent showing improved confidence, competence, caring, character or connection. The girls who were the least active at the start of the program demonstrated a more than 40 percent increase in physical activity. For more information, visit www.gotrtampa.org.

SOURCE: patch.com