Spotlight on Paula Mullally

Spotlight on Paula Mullally

Paula coaching at PK Yonge

Paula coaching at PK Yonge

Monthly, Girls on the Run is starting to “spotlight” current/past coaches and girls who have been through our program. It will provide you, our readers, the chance to get to know more about the program, how it has influenced those involved, and gain general insight on the coaches.

This week, our spotlight is on Paula Mullally, a coach who got her start with GOTR in Washington, DC.

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“My running coach in high school made a really big impact on me, and I loved the opportunity to use running to shape other people’s lives. Empowering women to overcome negative female stereotypes and take charge of their lives, teaching the importance of positive body image and a balanced approach to health is crucial for a future full of independent, self-respecting, and civically-involved women. I don’t think a single coach — even the handful of male coaches I have encountered — has not dealt with the issues we cover with our girls, and Girls on the Run is one of very few programs that bothers to broach such difficult issues with young girls.”

Paula said her move from DC to Gainesville has allowed her to interact with many different types of schools and multiple age groups.

“It’s gratifying to see that regardless of socioeconomics or age, the program has relevance to all of its participants. Lots of the girls I’ve coached have mentioned how difficult some of the topics have been to talk about, but they always say that it forced them to think through things they might not have otherwise.”

Through her big move, recent marriage, and transition in to a new job, Paula still managed to find time to coach and help empower young girls to be stronger and healthier.

“I’ve had some really proud moments from my involvement in GOTR: watching a mom cry as her daughter crossed the finish line at the 5k, getting a card signed by all the girls at my old school in DC for Christmas, and having a student from the Girls on Track program spot me in a store and come up to tell me how much she missed the program. I only wish this had been available to me at that age!”

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