The second day of camp focused on building self-esteem and discussing role models. The day started by distributing camp t-shirts to everyone before jumping into a 2-kilometer run. This run differed from last week’s and mirrored parts of the race course that the girls are scheduled to run on Saturday, April 22. After stretching and a water break, the girls cooled down inside with an interactive guest lecture from Batoul Arnaout, a competitive athlete in Jordan and founder of Better Opportunities and Options for Sports Today (BOOST).
BOOST is a well-respected local organization that promotes sports in society. During the lecture, Batoul discussed how running can promote positive self-esteem and encouraged the girls to think about things they love about themselves as well as about their fellow campers. For each positive trait that the girls shared, Batoul awarded them with a smiley face sticker. Many of the girls proudly wore these stickers on their faces for the rest of the day.
In the afternoon, the girls broke into two groups and took turns eating lunch (once again donated by Siniora Food Industries) and participating in a live, interactive Skype session with Abbey D’Agostino. Abbey is an American long-distance runner, who ran with Nina at Dartmouth College and represented the United States in the 2015 World Outdoor Championships, 2016 World Indoor Championships, and 2016 Olympic Games. Beyond her amazing athletic abilities, Abbey exemplifies true sportsmanship. Her collegial attitude gained global recognition in the preliminary round of the 5,000-meter race at the 2016 Olympics. During this race, she and another athlete from New Zealand selflessly helped each other after falling and encouraged each other to finish the race, despite their painful injuries and falling well-behind the other competitors. This action led to Abbey and the New Zealand athlete winning the 2016 Fair Play Award.
During the session, Abbey shared her incredible and inspiring story with the girls, through instant translation (thanks to one of our excellent volunteers, Sahar Shatat). She also explained the joys of running with a supportive team as well as the importance of running for love of the sport rather than for fear of losing or disappointing others. Abbey then took questions from the girls, who were excited to use video chat—particularly to exchange waves and big smiles with Abbey throughout the discussion. The Sports City Squash Federation graciously enabled these interactive, technology-based sessions by offering the girls access to a classroom equipped with reliable wireless internet and a screen.
Altogether, the girls went home happy, decked out in smiley face stickers and their new Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls t-shirts!