YMCA of the Sandhills

Girls on the Run & Girls on Track

Girls On The Run/Girls On Track of the Sandhills is a life-changing, non-profit prevention program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. Our mission is "to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running." These programs combine training for a 5K (3.1 miles) running race with healthy living education. Our programs instill self-esteem and strong values through health education, life skills development, mentoring relationships, and physical training, all of which are accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community. Our mission with Girls On The Run/Girls On Track is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.


Family Value Members: $29/participant
Community: $79/participant
Included with fees: GOTR/GOT Program Shirt, medal, and water bottle
YMCA Dogwood Run 5K: $20 (early registration); $25 (late registration)

Financial assistance is available, please inquire at any YMCA of the Sandhills location.

We offer registration at all YMCA branches (North, Fayetteville or Hope Mills)


Fun, life-changing after school programs for girls in grades 3 - 8 which combine training for successful completion of a 5K with lessons that develop character and build self-esteem. Volunteers are needed at many schools throughout Cumberland, Harnett, Robeson and Bladeen Counties. Each site requires at least 2 coaches.

  • Coaches DO NOT have to be elite runners, just responsible, encouraging individuals that can motivate and relate to kids!
  • Head coaches must be 18, but younger junior coaches are welcome too.
  • Program meets 2 times a week for 75 minutes after school for 10-week program starting February1st and ending April 19th
  • The YMCA Dogwood fun run on April 16th on the campus of FTCC is our final race of the season
  • Coaches must attend coach training and head coach must be First Aid/CPR certified (CPR training provided for a discounted fee).
  • Coaches receive all necessary materials and support throughout the program.
  • Teams of coaches encouraged. It’s fun with a friend.
  • YOU can be a Girls on the Run or Girls on Track coach!

Click here for our Policies and Procedures

Click here for our Volunteer Application


YMCA of the Sandhills provides almost eveything needed to operate Girls on the Run/ STRIDE. The program is run by volunteers and costs nothing for the school/organization to administer. If your school/area does not yet offer GOTR or GOT and you are interested in hosting the program, please follow the Step-by-Step Process listed below:

Step 1: Identify a site. GOTR/GOT can be offered at schools, parks, Boys and Girls Clubs, churches or similar venues. The program location is responsible for:

  • Completing the Site Application Form and returning it to the YMCA of the Sandhills
  • Providing a volunteer "Site Liaison" to act as a Point of Contact between the program location and the Program Director. This is typically a teacher, school administrator, staff member, PTA President, Parent, interested member of the community, etc.
  • Provide a safe space for running. This does not need to be a track, a field is fine. However, there would be a need to measure off part of the space for when lessons require the participants to run a set distance (ie. 1 mile, 5k, etc.)
  • Provide an indoor location for times when there is inclement weather.
  • Determine interest level at said location and the number of teams you'd like to offer. (A team is 8-15 kids)
  • Choose two non-consecutive days for meeting. (We meet 75-90 minutes each practice)
  • Recruit a minimum of two volunteer (maximum of 4) coaches per team of 8-15 kids.
  • Arrange for an information meeting to distribute information for students and families and generate interest prior to registration deadline.
  • Assist is marketing the programs in your community.
  • Encourage parents, teachers, and other staff to participate in race day!

Step 2: Identify Coaches.

Acting as a GOTR/GOT Coach is a time intensive, yet extremely rewarding volunteer opportunity. All of our coaches are trained by the YMCA of the Sandhills prior to each season and provided with a program curriculum, as well as a box containing all lesson materials needed throughout the season. There is no fee for the Coaches Training.

Step 3: Complete all paperwork.

  • Complete & Submit Site Application
  • Attend Coaches Training
  • Collect and Submit:
  • Registration Forms
  • Payments
  • Financial Assistance Documentation

Step 4: Have a great season!! Our season culminates with a 5k running event. We encourage as much site involvement in this event as possible. Families, teachers, administrators, community members are welcome to come out and walk, run, and cheer on the participants.

For more information contact your local YMCA


Registration is OPEN at all 3 Branches:

Partnering With the Community!

The YMCA and the Cape Fear Botanical Garden partner together to provide "Yoga in the Garden" every Wednesday evening at 6 PM. Classes take place at the Botanical Garden and are free to both YMCA and Botanical Garden members. Call (910) 486-0221 to register ahead of time.

Kids Night Out=Parents' Night Off

Programs for KNO have a variety of fun activities every 3rd SATURDAY!


PREP Preschool Care at the HOPE MILLS Y BRANCH

8:30am- 12:00pm Monday ~ Friday, 2 1/2 - 5 years of age who are potty-trained. MEMBER cost: $39/week, Non-Member cost: $49/week. Registration Fee $35 per Non-Member. Program features ABeka, Montessori, sports-play, healthy snack, social skills, Bible Verses, monthly field trips and more. Contact us at 910-426-9622: Option 5 or PREP Lead, Ms. Rakia at: rakia.epps@ymcaofthesandhills.org

Supported by the UNITED WAY of Cumberland County