2019 Week 2 Camp Highlights: Record 70 participants, Elite Runners Shareefa Alsqqa and Ashwak ßåÐråñ Share Training Tips and Advice

by Sophie Zinser, Jordan Director of Operations

Over seventy girls from across Amman brought their enthusiasm and incredible energy to King Hussein Park this morning. While the weather was still a bit grey, spirits remained high from the outset, as a group of girls started an impromptu dance warmup on the bus ride over. With the weather a bit chilly, most girls and coaches wore sweaters over their T-Shirts, but the game play heated up throughout the three-hour event.

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Now that the girls have been introduced to the camp structure, the pace of play and enthusiasm has only increased. Head Coach Ru’a started the morning with an introduction, review of the rules covered last week--namely respect, kindness, and commitment to peer sport--and a rapidfire jumping jacks spree that got the girls excited to participate in camp. Ru’a then tested the girl’s knowledge of the classic Nina Brekelmans camp chant to get everyone fired up for the day.

Afterwards, Ru’a split the team into three activity sections based on age. Coach Hanan ran some activities with the younger girls and coached a particularly cute hugging game, where the girls raced around each other until a shout from Hanan signaled that the girls must hug someone nearby. Many of the girls just piled up and hugged each other (this got some “awwww”s from volunteers).

Ru’a led a section of older girls, many of whom have a background in sports. Towards the end of the drill, Ru’a switch roles and invited some eager girls to lead their own activity sub-sections. They were excited to take on the responsibility and led their peers in dance circles and hype songs in addition to sports activities. This was a great chance for the younger girls to see examples of how they may one day lead camp activities on their own.


Our volunteers were an especially energetic bunch this week. One volunteer, Kendall, spent time cartwheeling around camp and teaching some of the more shy girls along the sidelines how to do headstands. One little girl insisted that our volunteer Rosalie roll around with her on the ground. Rosalie obliged. Yet another volunteer, Jodi, allowed the girls to test out different hairstyles and headbands on her during a long water break. We’re thankful for the steadfast commitment of our volunteers and coaches!

After the activity period, the girls had their first experience practicing full laps. Volunteers were strategically spaced around the large soccer field and offered the girls high fives as they ran excitedly by. This was a great step towards building endurance and preparing for race day. Girls were given 20 minutes to walk/run as many laps as they could as an early test in self-pacing. Many girls shared how many laps they ran. One told our Jordan Director of Operations that she ran “six laps today, but by race day, I will be able to run ten!”

Just as the girls finished running, our guest speakers for the day, Shareefa Alsqqa and Ashwak ßåÐråñ, arrived and led the girls in a cool-down stretch. Shareefa and Ashwak are both elite competitive distance runners and were close friends of Nina’s during her time in Amman. We were honored to welcome them to camp this week.

Shareef and Ashwak explained the importance of running form and how one must always stretch after completing a long run in order to gain strength. After inspiring the girls, everyone took a lunch break of shawarma, banana and apples while Shareefa and Ashwak shared more of Nina’s story. They described what an excellent and motivated runner Nina was, and how she was able to win nearly every race she entered in Jordan, due in large part to her work ethic but also because of her kindness to others and determination. Inspired by Nina’s story, the girls, volunteers and speakers all took a group photo in the first of many Nina Camp group photos this year to commemorate the day.


Following the lecture, the girls closed out the afternoon with some journaling time. It is evident that bonds are already forming between the campers and volunteers. During the journaling period, two girls shared that they had written about how much fun they had learning from one of our star volunteers, Sophia. Other girls drew themselves holding hands with their fellow campers, volunteers and coaches. As the girls high fived the volunteers on the way to their busses home at the end of the day, their enthusiasm for the next camp week--and for race day--left the cloudy afternoon feeling a little brighter.

(This week was wonderful, we couldn’t decide what pictures to choose! Check out even more pictures from Week 2 below!)

2019 Week 1 Camp Highlights: 56 participants, new partnership with Sawiyan, and visit from Lina El Kurd of Run Jordan


by Sophie Zinser, Jordan Director of Operations

While grey skies and a storm were predicted for the first day of camp, the campers and coaches relocated our kickoff day for the 2019 Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls from our outdoor location at King Hussein Park to the beautiful, spacious gym of Tala’a al-Ali Girls High School. When the start time changed to 9am instead of 10am to accommodate the new space, 56 girls from around Amman were up early to hop on three busses and gather at the gym to learn, run, and be inspired by Nina’s story. Twelve fantastic volunteers supported the camp today as well!


One star volunteer Georgie was up earlier than the rest, facilitating the bus for our new partner organization, Sawiyan, riding the bus to pick up girls from Jebal al-Akdar, Jebal al-Jofah, and Jebal Amman in addition to our participants through Reclaim Childhood. When all girls arrived, each were given custom-made t-shirts that they will wear for each day of the camp throughout the next month.

Our head coach gave an inspiring speech about the values of camp to start the day. What are they? Honesty, kindness, determination, and, first and foremost, respect for one another. No one succeeds alone; every success that we achieve at the running camp is done as a team. Our head coach joined with Jordan Director, Sophie, to talk about how the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation works in Washington, D.C. and Jordan and shared Nina’s story to inspire the girls.


Nina was always kind to her friends and family. She focused on her education, dedicated herself to running, and was a good friend to all. The girls promised to support each other in honor of her memory. The discussion ended with our favorite chant of Nina’s name and a promise to work together to succeed at the 2019 Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls.

After we reviewed the rules of the camp, the girls were split up into four groups of approximately 15 for three rounds of activities led by our two head coaches and two assistant coaches. There was a tag-and-chase game, a game of throwing and catching cones and balls, and a sprinting challenge game. The girls loved the games as the gym echoed with the excited sounds of their screaming, sneakers squeaking, and laughter.


Once the girls finished the activities (and a water break!), they all gathered for a seven-minute group run to practice for the race. Each learned about breathing techniques and establishing their own pace. They focused on pushing themselves and respecting each other’s space. When they were sufficiently tired out, they all headed into the classroom attached to the gym for some quiet time.

When seated, the girls were each given a new journal and pen. They wrote their names on the front and wrote about what words they associated with Nina and the 2019 race: winning, strength, kindness, friendship, prize, completion. They then each drew themselves crossing the finish line. Many also drew photos of Nina!

After quiet time, the girls enjoyed shwarma, cheese sandwiches, apples, bananas, and water while listening to the wise words of our honored guest, Lina El Kurd, the General Manager of Run Jordan, Jordan’s largest and most successful running association. Lina inspired the girls with stories of how she became Run Jordan’s general manager and discussed the organization’s programming and design. She encouraged the girls to take on leadership roles in their community and ended with a huge round of applause. We are so grateful for her time. Many of the girls expressed how excited they were to meet her!


After camp, the girls scattered off to their busses, high-fiving the coaches and volunteers on the way out! We can’t wait for next week.

The 2019 Nina Brekelmans Running Camp Kick-Off!

Friends and supporters,

We hope you are well, and wanted to let you know that we’ve been busy gearing up for our fourth year. We are excited to share with you the official dates for this year’s Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls and Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls in Amman, Jordan!


The camp will be held four consecutive Saturdays - March 30, April 6, April 13 and April 20 - at Al Hussein Public Parks. The culminating event - a 1k race - will be held the following weekend, April 27, at the same location.

Thank you for helping the camp grow and thrive as we work together to advance Nina's vision to promote self-confidence, leadership, and well-being among young women in Jordan through running. Last year, the camp welcomed 30 to 40 girls each week with lessons on running, role models, sportsmanship, strength training and nutrition. Nearly 70 girls ages 8 to 14 participated in the race. And we welcomed two amazing new head coaches - Rawda Hamadneh and Ru’a Al-Abweh - who will join us again in 2019.

We’re lucky to continue having fantastic on-the-ground support from the U.S. Fulbright program. Sophie Zinser, who helped guide the camp last year, was appointed our first in-country Director of Operations and will lead our Fulbright volunteers this year to help to ensure we provide our campers with a phenomenal experience. Promoting leadership will continue to be an important theme for us in 2019, as we invite back past campers to serve in mentoring roles. We’ll also strive to strengthen partnerships with local organizations. Reclaim Childhood, a tremendous partner, is working hand-in-hand with us for the third year.


With your support, and with our Jordanian friends and partners, we’re really looking forward to making the 2019 camp and race the best yet. Follow along on our websiteblog, and social media channels - including Facebook and our new Instagram account (@ninab_camp) - to learn more about this year’s camp (and the people behind it) in the weeks and days leading up to our camp kickoff. We’ll be sure to post blog recaps of each camp day as well, and you can also sign up here for our mailing list.

Camp participants can register here. If you would like to volunteer for the camp, you can register here.

And if you’d like to contribute to our success in 2019 and beyond, please consider donating. We really appreciate the support we get. Small donations make a big difference! The Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Continuing Nina’s legacy: Getting Ready for 2018 Camp and Race

By Nicole Khamis
Nicole Khamis is part of this year's leadership team and teaching English in Amman, Jordan as a 2017-2018 Fulbright Scholar.


The first time that my Jordan Fulbright cohort and I heard Nina Brekelman’s story was almost a year ago when we gathered together for the first time in Washington, D.C. The Fulbright Program is an international exchange opportunity for study and research that works to foster intercultural exchange and mutual understanding through different cultures. A key way that Fulbright achieves this is by sending individuals abroad who are passionate about doing this exact thing- and Nina was no exception. Her passing came shortly before she embarked on a Fulbright Fellowship in Jordan to research the experience of female distance runners.


Nina’s legacy is inherent in the dream of William J. Fulbright, who established the Fulbright Scholarship after World War II to bring a divided world together. Her passion for learning about other cultures, engaging deeply with local communities in Mexico, Egypt, and Jordan, and her love for empowering marginalized communities, shined through in everything she did. Nina’s love for running, Arabic, and her infectious smile are still remembered by the many she worked with and impacted here in Jordan - and we are committed to continuing her legacy here in Amman by organizing the third annual camp and race for girls founded in Nina’s honor.


The running camp, which will begin Saturday, will once again provide instruction on running training and techniques to young girls ages 8 to 14 to promote healthy living and self confidence. The experience will culminate May 5 at Sports City with a race in which the girls can show what they learned throughout the camp.  

We also are very excited this year to implement a girls leadership program that will give local girls an opportunity to mentor camp participants, and look forward to providing an update on this endeavor in the weeks ahead of us.

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Establishing a running camp in Jordan as a way to empower girls was a vision that Nina put forth for her Fulbright proposal. So, while the Fulbright Team based in Amman has been busy planning this year’s camp, Nina has been on our minds. Through the camp, we hope to empower and uplift other women in hopes of making a lasting impact on the lives of young girls in Jordan.

Announcing Year 3 Dates for the Nina Brekelmans Camp and Race for Girls


We are excited to announce the dates for the third annual Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls and Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls in Amman, Jordan!

The camp will be held on four consecutive Saturdays - April 7, April 14, April 21 and April 28 - at Sports City, Amman's premier urban park and athletic facility. The culminating event - a 3k race - will be held the following weekend, May 5, at Sports City.


The camp and race continues to grow with the support of Nina’s family and friends, the U.S. Fulbright program, and our Jordanian friends and partners - including Sports City, Unlimited Distances, Boost, Reclaimed Childhood, Jordan Squash Federation and Ruwaad. Together we strive to advance Nina’s vision to promote self-confidence, leadership, and well-being among young women in Jordan through running.

Camp participants can register here. If you would like to volunteer, you can register here. To follow along, sign up here for our mailing list. And if you’d like to help contribute to our growth, please consider donating. The Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Washington, DC. All donations are tax-deductible.

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Race Recap: 2017 Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls

By Lilly Frost

Lilly Frost is part of the Fulbright leadership team for 2017 Nina Brekelmans Running Camp and Race for Girls. Lilly has spent the past year in Jordan conducting research for her PhD dissertation. 

Our race day—the exciting culmination of our four-week running camp—kicked off with about fifty local and expat volunteers gearing up for the day. After collecting their race-day t-shirts and some breakfast snacks, the volunteers helped mark and prepare the 3-kilometer race course for the girls. These preparations included a mid-way water station because of the day’s unusually high temperatures (which was a big hit as the girls chugged the water down and dramatically tossed the bottles aside while racing past!).

As the course came together, the participants started arriving, including about 20 girls from Irbid, five girls from the Ghor Valley (northern part of the Jordan Valley), and 45 from East and West Amman, many of whom are refugees. The diverse group of girls warmed up, chatted, and tried on their race-day t-shirts. In the background, a DJ provided by Sports City played music and family members bustled about taking pictures and drinking tea. The special attendance of Farah Hashem, Tamara Armoush, Georgia Cottle, and Hanoia Ali—all award-winning runners in Jordan—helped boost the girls’ energy at the start line.

Just before the race began officials from Sports City, including Dr. Atef, arrived to make brief speeches, wish the girls well, and take pictures with the girls as well as Nina’s family. Then, with three loud horn bellows, Captain Waleed from Sports City’s Squash Federation started the race. The girls took off at a sprinting pace as the crowd clapped and cheered. During the race, the volunteers along the course helped keep the girls on the correct path and provide encouragement. 

At the finish line, volunteers worked meticulously to track each girl’s time by quickly pulling off their bib tags and keeping them in their finishing order. Then, the Brekelmans, including some of their extended family, placed a medal around each girl’s neck and congratulated them on completing the race. Afterward, the girls trotted off to cool down with water and apples.

Once Coaches Ibrahim and Sweity had tallied up the girls’ times, they led a sun-filled ceremony on the steps of the Squash Federation. The ceremony’s speakers included: Nina’s father, Nico Brekelmans; Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation President, Mary Grace Pellegrini; Executive Director of the Binational Fulbright Commission in Jordan, Alain McNamara; and Sports City Public Relations and Media Manager, Laith Al Majali. One of the volunteers, Anas Yousef, helped translate each speech into Arabic or English for the Jordanian and American audiences. These speeches highlighted Nina’s commitment to running and Arabic as well as delivered one central message: “Keep running!”

After the speeches, camp and race co-organizer, Matthew Liston, along with Coaches Sweity and Ibrahim distributed trophies to the top three girls in each age group (8–10 and 11–14 years old). The girls posed proudly, with trophies in hand, for pictures on top of the numbered podiums as the ceremony wrapped up—after which, many of the other girls ascended the podiums for their own personal photos!

The race festivities concluded with an intimate welcome reception thrown by Captain Waleed, on behalf of the Squash Federation, for the Brekelmans family. Over coffee, tea, and cookies, the Brekelmans, Sports City officials, and event organizers discussed the day’s events, running, and Nina’s legacy. Overall, both the camp and race ended on a successful, upbeat note, highlighting this year’s achievements as well as next year’s ambitions.


2017 Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls Results


2017 Race Details

What: 3K running race for girls ages 8-14

When: April 22, 2017 - registration starts at 9:00 AM, race starts at 10:00 AM with awards to follow 

Where: Al-Hussein Youth City (Sports City) near the Squash Courts (Gate 6)

Registration: Registration is free, and you can sign up at the race

Awards: Awards will be given to the top 3 girls in each division. We'll have tshirts and medals for all participants. Water will be handed out on the course and at the finish line. 

Sponsors: Sport City, Fulbright, Unlimited Distances, BOOST, and the U.S. Embassy in Amman. 

2017 Results

Girls Ages 8-10 | Girls Ages 11-14 (2 pages)

Race Details: 2017 Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls

2017 Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls


What: 3K running race for girls ages 8-14

When: April 22, 2017 - registration starts at 9:00 AM, race starts at 10:00 AM with awards to follow 

Where: Al-Hussein Youth City (Sports City) near the Squash Courts (Gate 6)

Registration: Registration is free, and you can sign up at the race 

Awards: Awards will be given to the top 3 girls in each division. We'll have tshirts and medals for all participants. Water will be handed out on the course and at the finish line. We'll 

We are thankful that Sport City has once again agreed to be our presenting sponsor. Likewise, we're grateful for support and backing from Fulbright, Unlimited Distances, BOOST, and the Embassy in Amman. 

For more details, follow along with our Facebook page. Good luck to all of our runners, and remember to stay hydrated for energy. See you tomorrow! 

Notes from Amman: Gearing up for the 2017 Camp and Race

The camp leadership team meets in Amman at Sport City to plan for this year's events. (L to R: Bishr Khasawneh, Lilly Frost, Lena Hamvas, Matthew Liston, Ibrahim Abu Asbeh, Batoul Arnaout, and Mohammad Al-Sweity).

The camp leadership team meets in Amman at Sport City to plan for this year's events. (L to R: Bishr Khasawneh, Lilly Frost, Lena Hamvas, Matthew Liston, Ibrahim Abu Asbeh, Batoul Arnaout, and Mohammad Al-Sweity).

By Lena Hamvas

Lena Hamvas is part of this year's leadership team and teaches English in Irbid, Jordan, as a 2016-2017 Fulbright scholar. 

Nina Brekelmans had a mission to improve running infrastructure for girls in Jordan and encourage healthy lifestyles through running, a mission we are determined to follow.

When a fourth grade student of mine heard about the running camp in class, she said, “Yes! I love running. Please, teacher, sign me up!”

When I asked teachers to announce the running camp in class to the girls, they lit up with excitement. One English teacher said, “Wow! That is such a good idea for girls in Jordan. This is wonderful because girls need to learn that they can do sports too, and the community needs more girls doing sports!”

There is a group of girls in Irbid, Jordan (1.5 hours north of Amman) who are taking English classes and heard about the running camp.  From these girls, 9 of 10 girls showed interest in running in the Nina Brekelmans Running Camp.  However, since they are far away from Amman and are not able to come to the camp each week, they have committed to practicing once a week in Irbid as a group with plans to join the girls in Amman for the race.

Fulbright volunteers at the 2016 race

Fulbright volunteers at the 2016 race

Campers with Batoul Arnaout, founder of BOOST and a favorite speaker and leader for the camp/race

Campers with Batoul Arnaout, founder of BOOST and a favorite speaker and leader for the camp/race

The local community is very excited about the running camp, and we are very excited to help build the infrastructure to make it all happen!

The Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls will have girls from many different neighborhoods. The girls range in age from  8-14 years old. A group of dedicated volunteers from the community at-large will help make the camp happen. The volunteers will be helping the girls with running practice and understanding the lessons given by guest speakers. We will have guest speakers who will speak about healthy lifestyles and about sports in the community and around the world. This year, the girls will have the chance to interact with runners from the United States who knew Nina Brekelmans. This is a good opportunity to exchange cultures through the love of sports.

After four weeks of camp, the girls will run in a race on April 22. This will give them a chance to use what they practiced during the camp and run in a real race. The camp and race will give the girls a chance to meet people in their communities who like to run and do sports. After the camp ends, we hope the girls will be inspired to continue doing sports in their community throughout the rest of the year.

Now Available - Nina Brekelmans Patches!

We are little more than three weeks away from kicking off the 2nd annual Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls on March 25, and cannot wait to welcome this year’s runners to camp!  

We are on track to achieve our goal of doubling the size of the camp. The Fulbright team is recruiting volunteers, and we’re putting together a great lineup of speakers, potentially even including Olympic runners (more on that to come!). Our coaches and host, Sports City, are preparing for another great camp, as are our many Jordanian friends and sponsors.

We also felt now was the perfect time for our supporters to join us keeping Nina’s spirit in our minds and hearts.

We just received a new order of the popular patches that were created for that very purpose. Nina’s friends and family frequently wear these patches while running or doing other activities in her memory. And if you already have one, consider buying one for someone else!

We think this is a powerful way to promote Nina’s vision to empower young women in Jordan. Plus, you can help us meet our goal to raise $1,500 to ensure our team has supplemental resources to provide our camp-goers and race participants with an exceptional experience. These funds will be used to defray camp costs for transportation and snacks as well as t-shirts, race bibs, and medals.

Buy one, or buy a bunch! You can get one for $12, 3 for $35, or 5 for $50. All proceeds from the patches directly support the camp and race.

Year Two Update: Announcing Dates for the Nina Brekelmans Camp and Race for Girls

We are excited to announce the dates for the 2nd annual Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls and Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls in Amman, Jordan!

The camp will be held on four consecutive Saturdays - March 25, April 1, April 8 and April 15 - at Sports City, the area’s premier urban park and athletic facility in Amman. The culminating event - a 3k race - will be held the following weekend at Sports City.

The camp and race were successfully piloted last spring with the support of Nina’s family and friends and the U.S. Fulbright program. Together, we commemorated her vision to promote self-confidence, leadership, and well-being among young women in Jordan through running.

When the camp started, more than half of the girls had never run 3k. Week by week, the girls learned more about running techniques and training, heard from guest speakers, and bonded over lunch and team activities.

In the end, the girls even made history! With widespread participation from across Jordan, more than 70 girls completed the capstone event: a 3k race through Sports City’s pathways that also happened to be the first girls-only footrace in Jordan.

We are proud to again work with our Jordanian friends and sponsors to carry out this vision. In particular, we’re thankful for our coaches, Mohammad Sweity and Ibrahim Abu Asbeh. And once again, we have a fantastic leadership team of U.S. Fulbright students  - Matthew Liston, Lena Hamvas, and Lilly Frost - to help lead planning and logistics and to build upon last year’s success.

Now, as we ramp up preparations for the upcoming camp and race, our goals cover three areas:

  • Expansion: The initial camp was strategically small in size to provide an attentive, high-quality experience for all runners. This year we aim to double the size of the camp from nearly 25 girls to 50, while retaining a quality and supportive experience for all.

  • New connections: We are piloting a video blogging exchange to connect our young female runners with other female athletes in the US and around the world.

  • Fundraising: We are seeking $3,000 in grant funding from the U.S. State Department to cover transportation, food, and material costs for additional runners, and to expand outreach efforts throughout the Amman community. This will help us as we look to accommodate a greater number of girls from a cross-section of Jordanian society, including the refugee community. Organizers are also seeking additional donations from other foundations and private sources.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll provide more details about camp programming and the race. To follow along, sign up here for our mailing list. If you’d like to help contribute to our growth, please consider donating. The Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Washington, DC. All donations are tax-deductible.

Check out a video recap from the 2016 race for Girls

The Nina Brekelmans Story: Promoting Women’s and Girl’s Empowerment through Running and Cultural Exchange

By 2015-2016 Fulbright U.S. Students to Jordan

Summer Forester, Emily Gallagher, and Jade Graddy

On a bright spring day in April 2014, Nina Brekelmans toed the line to compete in the half marathon at the Dead Sea Ultra race in Amman, Jordan. Although Nina had never competed in this distance before, she won. During a post-race interview, Nina described the race as particularly important to her because it was her last race in Jordan before returning to the United States Tragically, this would be the last race Nina would ever run in Jordan; in June 2015, Nina passed away in a house fire in Washington, DC.

Nina was selected for a Fulbright U.S. Student grant in May 2015 and would have begun her research project in Jordan in August of that year. Nina’s passion for running intersected with and informed her scholarship. As a Fulbright U.S. Student, she planned to research how women’s involvement in elite-level distance running shifts cultural norms about women’s roles in society. Nina hoped to use this research in her lifelong endeavor to promote female participation in athletics. To be sure, Nina was well-suited for this project. During her time in Jordan as a Boren Fellow in 2013-2014, she connected with athletes, coaches, and local running organizations, all of whom embraced Nina as one of their own.

Following Nina’s untimely death, the U.S. Department of State and theBinational Fulbright Commission in Jordan (sponsors and administrators of the Fulbright Program in Jordan) decided to create a community engagement award to honor Nina’s legacy and to help her research continue in Jordan. The prize was $1,000 to fund a project that promoted Nina’s vision of female empowerment through running. This year’s Fulbright U.S. Student group in Jordan worked together to create a proposal.

Nina’s friends and family in the United States gave us the idea to do a camp. They had talked about creating one, but they didn’t have any on-the-ground connections in Jordan to make it a reality. Together, we started laying out the groundwork based on their ideas and the possibilities in Amman.

Planning the camp was easy, largely because Nina was so well respected by everyone she met. Every idea we had was met with a quick solution through people who knew Nina and wanted to support her legacy. We needed a location: one of her friends in Jordan had connections to Sports City where we could host the camp for free; we needed a coach: one of Jordan’s premier marathon runners happened to be her trainer and friend; we needed speakers to talk to the girls about healthy living: Nina had worked with countless people in Jordan towards this end. Nina was there in spirit and helping the camp every step of the way.

The Nina Brekelmans Camp for Girls officially launched on February 27, 2016, and continued for five consecutive Saturdays ending on March 26. Each day started with a 2-4 km run with the fifteen girls, ages 8-14, who participated in the camp. Afterwards, a guest speaker addressed the girls on topics ranging from the health and emotional benefits of running to the importance of strength training and proper nutrition. In the afternoons, we focused on team-building exercises, with a focus on positive self-image and empowerment. Through these sessions, we worked to instill a love of running and foster bonds of friendship and a supportive community.

On April 9, the camp comes to a close with a 3 km race for girls ages 8-14. This race is one of the first of its kind in Jordan, specifically focusing on young female runners. The Dead Sea Ultra race was not Nina’s last because through her vision and community support at least 50 young girls will be running in her namesake at the Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls.