2017 Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls: Week 3 Recap

Our third session started off at the same time as Jordan’s largest clean-up campaign, which targeted dozens of public sites across the country—including Sports City. Although Sports City was very crowded as the girls gathered, Coach Sweity and Coach Ibrahim organized the girls and took them on a 2K run. This run differed from previous weeks because the coaches instituted a no-stopping policy to help prepare them for the race in two weeks. This meant that the girls ran or walked the whole time without any pauses. After the run, the girls enjoyed a water break before moving on to stretches, led by Coach Sweity and Coach Ibrahim. 

Next, the girls moved inside to the Sports City Squash Federation’s classroom for a presentation on healthy eating by Dr. Dania Qaryouti. Dr. Dania joined again by popular demand from last year’s camp. She focused on helping the girls identify healthy meals. She also covered the benefits of healthy eating and signs of an unhealthy diet, including eating disorders. Her comprehensive presentation on consuming healthy meals included interactive activities. Specifically, she instructed each of the girls to write down what they had eaten for their past three meals, and then she invited them to present these descriptions—which the girls clamored to do! During the presentations, she asked all the girls to identify the food groups included in each meal as well as to highlight any foods that could have been added to make the meal healthier. Before concluding, she had the girls write down examples of healthy meals, helping to reinforce her lessons.

With their appetites engaged, the girls then headed back outside for lunch (donated again by Siniora Food Industries). After enjoying lunch among the trees and sunlight in the recently cleaned Sports City, volunteer Kelly Connors led a quick running skills activity with the translation assistance of volunteer Abdelqayom Ahmad Mohammad Albasha. Kelly, who is preparing to run the Boston Marathon for the second time, gave the girls advice about how to run more efficiently, using the correct breathing techniques and running form. She then told them about the benefits of envisioning yourself finishing a race, and she had each girl draw herself crossing the finish line at the Nina Brekelmans 4K race in two weeks. Before wrapping up the day, the girls excitedly shared some of their pictures and thoughts about running the race.