Fitness consultant Stella Bergan is back for another year of cross country training at Hillview Middle School

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on September 18, 2018

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Ladera resident Stella Bergan is back for her fourth year at Hillview Middle School this fall coaching the after school cross country program, helping kids increase their running endurance, speed, strength, and overall conditioning.

“I also share nutrition and mental strategies that will help them with running as well as other sports and life in general,” she said.

At the consolation of the eight weeks, the kids will run a 5K at Stanford.

Long a runner herself as well as an adult fitness consultant in the area, she took on her role at Hillview at the urging of one of the parents who was co-PTO president at the time.

“I wasn’t sure at first,” she recalled, “and put off accepting for a year. But I love running and I love middle schoolers. And I also got the assurance that I could create the program I wanted.

“Last year I had 53 kids sign up! This year I am going to limit the sign ups to around 40 to keep it manageable.”

A mother of four herself, with one off to college, two at M-A and one at La Entrada, Stella said her primary goal is to make sure that the kids understand that running can be enjoyable.

“They can use what the learn in cross country and apply it to other sports, like soccer, and they can also set their own goal and see the improvements they make.

“I want every kid who walks onto the track to feel special and good about being there. I try to build a relationship with each and every one of them.  A fair number of 8th graders continue with cross country at high school.

“Being involved with this has really exceeded my expectations. The kids are great — and great to work with, too!”

Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2018

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