National Youth Sports Program to continue despite federal cuts



The University of Notre Dame, home since 1991 to the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP), will continue the program this summer on a limited basis despite the elimination of federal funding.

NYSP will be held from June 15 to July 14 on campus, and registration will take place from 8:45 to 10:30 a.m. April 8 (Saturday) at the Charles Black Youth Center, 3419 W. Washington St., South Bend.

Several University departments have pledged support to allow the program to operate this summer, though it will be able to accommodate just 250 young people, compared with 600 last year.

Established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1968, NYSP is a five-week sports enrichment camp for children ages 10-16 who live at or below poverty in South Bend and Mishawaka.They are transported to and from campus to learn the fundamentals of football, soccer, golf, swimming, basketball, volleyball and yoga, in addition to participating in drug and alcohol prevention, writing, math and science, career education and computer classes.

The primary objective of the program is to expose children who are at risk for health concerns such as childhood obesity to higher education and healthy lifestyles and provide educational remediation and supervision while encouraging their participation in sports.Children also receive free medical exams, insurance, USDA-approved meals and transportation.During its 15 years at Notre Dame, NYSP has served more than 3,500 young people from the South Bend area.

After 37 consecutive years of support, Congress eliminated all NYSP funding for 2006.Nationwide, more than 250 programs are in jeopardy of closing their doors.

Notre Dames Center for Social Concerns in conjunction with the Offices of the President, University Relations, and Public Affairs and Communication, has pledged support to continue the program this summer while alternative long-term funding is sought.

NYSP traditionally has been funded by the USDA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NCAA, participating institutions, and state, local and private contributions.

Additional registration information is available by calling the Center for Social Concerns at 574-631-5293.

Contact: Rebecca Pettit, Center for Social Concerns, 574-631-9970,

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