Girls on the Run hopes to makes strides locally

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:42

    SPARTA — An organization that empowers young girls and looks to develop self respect and healthy lifestyles in preteen girls through running is attempting to get a foothold in the county. Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization, helps children by educating them on healthy eating habits, positive body image and peer pressure issues, through interactive, discussion-type lessons. Physical training is also part of the program. Girls alternate their indoor lessons with outdoor, running training, which results in a 5K at the end of the 12 weeks course. Debbie Siiposa, along with Melissa Sagersten and Vikki Svabo, Sparta residents who hope to bring the program to the area, said, “The major goal is to bring girls to emotional and physical health. Every girl gets strong, gains greater self-awareness and a sense of achievement.” Organizers are in the infant stages of getting the program up and running. Siiposa and the others heard about the organization from friends in Hunterdon County. When they saw what was happening in Hunterdon, they immediately knew the girls in Sussex County would benefit as well. The group is planning to form in the Sparta area initially and is looking for volunteers, leaders, locations, financial donors and people to sit on their Board of Directors. There are currently 160 Chapters in the US and Canada helping young girls, and the club base is growing rapidly. The Sussex County Girls on the Run organization will be hosting a volunteer night at the Helen Morgan School in Sparta on June 15 at 7 p.m. Anyone interested in helping to get a local group organized, contact Deb Siiposa at, or go to, or