Noelle Gomes – 2018/19 Winner
Noelle resurrected the RVHS cross country program, dormant since 1992. In Noel’s words, “I was impressed by the numbers the sport pulled.” Half the team was girls, notable in a sport where girls are typically underrepresented. “I expected to see three to four kids and got 30!” To avoid sports-related injuries, Noelle instituted a rigorous speed and agility training regimen. The approach paid off. All the runners made huge improvements to their individual times. The girls team placed fourth and boys team placed first all league. In addition, one runner placed first and several were awarded MVP status. As successful as her first year was, Noelle is most proud of how the sport builds self-esteem.
Alyson Stiles – 2018/19 Winner
Aly provides the “heart” of the Project Heart and Sole running program at Riverview Middle School. Aly organizes the cross country meets and events, encourages student runners at practice, tracks individual improvement from race to race, and hosts an awards ceremony, recognizing each runner’s achievements, at the end of the season. Aly also provides leadership opportunities for students through the 3-day and 1-day California Association of Student Leaders and California Association of Director of Activities leadership camps. These leadership opportunities have been transformative for both our young student leaders and the atmosphere at Rivierview Middle School.
About The Project Heart & Sole Award
This award honors the coaches of the middle and high school cross country teams who encourage young women’s involvement in the sport and provide leadership opportunities (in the middle school).