Three years ago, I stood in front of a group of young girls, took a deep breath, and started a wild, exhilarating journey. 10 girls. One school. Welcome to the UK, Mini Mermaid Running Club!
Talk about silencing my Siren voice and leaping into the unknown. I had no idea what to expect; the launch of this had come from a very personal place and I felt so strongly that our girls deserved this. Telling girls that they’re strong, smart and capable of anything is one thing. Seeing them experience it first-hand? That’s the icing on the cake.
We’ve been crazy busy since that very first day. We have had 100 programmes in Leeds and London. Our first ever programme on the Wirral began just this week and by this summer, more than 1000 girls will have participated in Mini Mermaids, and our boys programme, Young Tritons, is up and running. Between all the groups, they have clocked up more than 5000km. Phew!
Numbers and stats are my thing, I like looking at the numbers, but more importantly, I love looking at the individuals. This Saturday, that very first group of Mini Mermaids will take their final 5km challenge, having successfully participated in a programme every year since we began in 2015. Each of these girls have taken the lessons of Mini Mermaid Running Club and made it her own, grown in confidence and found her voice.
I’ve always believed that Mini Mermaids represents a starting point for something greater. #thefinishlineisjustthebeginning. So imagine my excitement when three of our Mini Mermaid pioneers were keen to stay involved with us, even as they make the move onto secondary school.
This keen involvement of these remarkable girls has sparked our first ever Mini Mermaid UK Ambassadors!
Ria Rathor, Leila Preval and Mahum Khan will be sharing their thoughts and feelings about Mini Mermaids with our new wave of participants and be on hand to help them out at their final challenges. We are just a bit super stoked about this (and a little bit teary eyed!)
So If you find yourself near Roundhay this Saturday for parkrun, give a highfin to Ria, Leila, Mahum and the rest of their MIni Mermaid tribe.
To all of them, thank you. Thank you for trusting in me and trusting in the programme. Siren’s got nothing on you, ladies. You are truly majestic Mini Mermaids!