FAB Girls 5K Challenge Blends Wellness and Fitness for Former HWDSB Student
Navigating through the dos and don’ts of life is daunting at the best of times, and doing all that while still learning who you are as a youth brings added pressures. The sole reason Fit Active Beautiful (FAB) exists is to inspire youth girls living in priority neighbourhoods in Hamilton to dream big and live big by teaching them how to set and pursue goals through running.
FAB aims to eliminate barriers by providing those who identify as female in grades 6 to 8 with the leadership and goal-setting skills necessary to live an empowered life. And that is exactly what the FAB Girls 5K Challenge did for former member Helena Andric, who also happens to be a former HWDSB student.
After multiple years of enrollment, Andric was left with memories and lessons to be carried with her for a lifetime. Recalling her 12-year-old self that began with the program, the thought of meeting new people and running made her feeling wary. “Once I had gone to a meeting or two, those worries quickly went away,” said Andric. “The coach’s energy was so impactful and fun, I had always felt safe and welcomed within program walls.”
The impacts of FAB Girls are far greater than working on physical health, as the program also provides an empowering environment to develop important life skills like goal setting and resilience. The initiative is not only free for participants, but each FAB girl will also receive all the tools needed to succeed, from food to fuel their bodies to running shoes.
For Andric, she extends gratitude to her younger self, stating, “If I could meet sixth-grade me, sitting on the gym floor, I would give her a big hug, thanking her for putting in the work that allows me today to feel so confident and like I belong wherever I go.”
With the program running from March to June each year, FAB girls and their coaches meet once a week for 90 minutes of physical activity, snacks, and goal-setting discussions. The program is held at various locations across the city, creating access for many. All are encouraged to learn more about this opportunity by visiting the FAB Foundation website. You can also follow the FAB Instagram account for more details about the program.
If you are still unsure about joining the FAB Girls 5K Challenge, here are some final thoughts from Andric:
“It was never about being the best or fastest runner but rather about setting goals and being proud of your own accomplishments! FAB coaches and fellow girls become close friends and encourage you every step of the way. FAB isn’t just a fitness program, it’s a wellness program that uses physical fitness as a tool. You learn how to keep your mind and body healthy.”