On December 1, 2019, in conjunction with the Chiefs home game against the Oakland Raiders, Nicki Jones was recognized by Blue KC and KCFX/Chiefs Radio Network for her volunteer work with the Girls on the Run (GOTR) organization.
“Nicki Jones is dedicated to improving the lives of young girls through the wonderful vehicle of Girls on the Run,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC’s Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “With her experience as a fitness professional and desire to empower and serve Kansas City’s young girls, she’s making a positive impact and teaching them lessons that will serve them throughout their lives. We’re very proud to recognize her as a Blue KC Here for Good Hero.”
In 2013, Jones was providing group exercise classes for a community center in the Ivanhoe neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., when the executive director asked if she would be interested in serving as a head coach for the GOTR team at a nearby school. Jones had never heard of the organization, but agreed to coach the team. The rest, as she says, is history. Since then, she has served as a head coach, then as a coach ambassador, and recently returned to coaching for a new school effort.
“Exercise is medicine to our bodies,” said Jones, a lifelong resident of Kansas City. “We live our daily lives in habits and behaviors—mostly things we can choose to do or not to do. It’s very important that I share this with girls—that they can start making choices that can directly impact their health now.”
Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world in which every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. The organization strives to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident by using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.
As a fitness professional, Jones is a natural fit for GOTR. And, after growing up with a positive role model who was dedicated to serving others, volunteering with the organization offered her a chance to combine two of her passions.
“My father has had a major impact on my life and is one of the most giving people I know,” said Jones. “When I was little, I watched him help neighbors, friends, our family or whomever was in need. From fixing cars to giving advice, he’s always been a pillar for our family and a go-to person. To me, giving back to others comes naturally.”
According to Jones, the most rewarding part of serving with GOTR is training the girls for the annual 5K. During a 10-week Girls on the Run after-school program, Jones helps inspire girls of all abilities to recognize and embrace their inner strength. She shares GOTR lessons that emphasize the important connection between physical and emotional health, and at the end of the program, helps them participate in a 5K. The goal of the race is to provide the girls with a tangible sense of accomplishment, setting a confident and goal-oriented mindset into motion.
Said Jones: “Through my work with Girls on the Run, I’ve learned that social support and team camaraderie are key ingredients to achieving a goal. One of the first things I do as a coach is to create and foster this atmosphere throughout the season.”
The Blue KC Here for Good Hero program recognizes strong community partners and the men and women who work or volunteer with those organizations to make Kansas City a better place to live, work and play. Prior to each Chiefs home game, Blue KC selects one honoree to attend the game, while also enjoying the KCFX/Chiefs Radio Network Tailgate Party and a visit to the radio broadcast booth. Blue KC also donates $1,000 to the organization of each honoree.