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Honoring Coach Kipnis for Women’s History Month

image of team of participants and their coach

Girls on the Run of San Diego honors Coach Kipnis of San Altos Elementary for Women’s History Month

Since its launch in 2006, Girls on the Run of San Diego (GOTRSD) has served over 12,000 girls throughout San Diego County thanks to the support of predominantly female, youth empowerment leaders. Girls on the Run is a physical-activity based, positive youth development (PA-PYD) program that inspires girls in 3rd through 8th grade to be joyful, healthy and confident. Twice a year, volunteer Coaches lead teams of 8-20 girls through a 10-week curriculum that teaches strategies for optimal emotional and physical well-being, fosters intergenerational connections, and encourages leadership through community service. Our highly anticipated 5K Fun Run, held at the end-of-each season, brings together teams from across the county to celebrate the achievement of their shared goal of crossing the finish line.

The San Altos Team of third through sixth graders, led by Coach Amanda Kipnis and Assistant coaches Alyssa Avelar, Paula Lopez, and Sidney Marocco, was selected by GOTRSD Staff to be highlighted for the ABC 10 News Women’s History Month feature. On March 6th, on a crisp Monday afternoon, the full team of Coaches and participants welcomed the ABC 10 camerawoman to their seventh lesson of the season. Program and Operations Manager, Joana Guerra shared her praises of Kipnis’s impact: “Coach Kipnis, a 20 season GOTRSD veteran since 2013, has been an active advocate for youth empowerment through sports and wellness as a volunteer aide to children with disabilities and girls softball coach.”

On her original volunteer application, Kipnis shared the following as her reason for being a GOTRSD coach: "I never had a program like this growing up. A self-esteem/ healthy choices curriculum is something I wish all children, especially girls, had access to. I hope I can share what I learn in our practices with others in the teaching/ coaching."

A credit to her extensive experience as a Special Education teacher and GOTR Coach Kipnis has been a well of knowledge for our Programming Team who direct curriculum implementation. As one of our Coach Experts, she mentors new coach volunteers and helps facilitate National Coach Training by leading trainees through role play scenarios and sample lessons. She is loved and appreciated by our team for her aspirational
passion through the years.

Kipnis’s school site, San Altos Elementary School, is a part of the Lemon Grove School District. Since 2013, the San Altos GOTR team for 3rd-6th graders has qualified for GOTRSD Team Funding, which is a teamwide scholarship extended to a maximum of 20 program participants each season. This scholarship includes: team registration fees, snacks at every practice, a pair of quality athletic shoes, and entry along with roundtrip school bus transportation to the end-of-season 5K.

Since the pandemic, Kipnis and her teaching colleagues have experienced a critical increase in mental health crises among their student population. Our Teacher-Coaches compass our policy direction to ensure we best serve the needs of our participants. We hope that her compelling story will inspire you to partner with us in spreading this
transformative movement!

Please visit us online at to learn more about volunteering, supporting or collaborating with our team. We also invite everyone to join our next 5K Spring 2023 Season Celebration on Sunday, May 7th at 9am at De Anza Cove Park in Mission Bay. Discounted early bird registration is available through our site until April 1st. Email to request information on launching a GOTRSD team in your community! We hope to see you at the starting line. Thank you ABC News for sharing our mission.

Author: Kris Curry Nall, GOTRSD Outreach & Marketing Manager


We use the term “Girls” which refers to gender expansive youth (cis girls, trans girls, nonbinary youth, gender non-conforming youth, gender queer youth and any girl-identified youth).

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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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