NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Western Mass News is your Local Sports Authority.
A local running coach has received a prestigious award from the New England Patriots.
This western Mass. native is being recognized and the impact she is making here in the area.
Meet Arielle Perry is a volunteer coach for Northampton’s Girls on the Run program.
"I’ve been coaching girls on the run since 2015 and helping out in some other ways as well. I host a team each season and work with the girls on their social and emotional skills, healthy living skills, and we incorporate running into that," Perry said.
Council Director for Girls on the Run, Alison Berman, has noticed Perry's impact she has on the girls in the 12 seasons she's been with the group and felt compelled to do something.
“She helps to get other volunteers for us, giving back to the community, and she helps us in other ways in this organization," Berman said.
Berman nominated Perry for the New England Patriots Myra Kraft MVP Community Award, which recognizes those who give their time and commitment to help others, improving their communities through volunteerism, while exemplifying leadership and dedication.
"Huge gratitude and humbling and a little bit still shocking to be honest; it's still sinking in," Perry said.
Perry is one of 26 recipients who paid a visit to Gillette Stadium with Berman, getting to see where the Patriots play for the first time. Perry said it was an experience to remember.
"Not only my first time but walking out there and being able to go onto the field which when am I ever going to get that opportunity. Also being in the presence of all the other winners," Perry explained.
Perry also received $10,000 towards Girls on the Run. She and Berman said there's a lot they can do with that gift.
"We have a policy where we want to make sure no girl is turned away for financial means. So we have a sliding scale, we subsidize kids 100 percent so that money will likely go completely go to financial assistance so that any girl can participate that wants to," Berman said.
Perry plans to continue her coaching with the group this fall while also being a counselor for the Chicopee Public Schools.