MAILED: June 15, 2001
EAU CLAIRE - The National Youth
Sports Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been providing
children ages 10-16 summer fun for 20 years and this year the award-winning
program will continue this tradition.
NYSP’s 21st year in the Chippewa Valley
began on June 6 and will continue through July 13. The federally funded program
provides 25 program days for over 600 area youth at no cost.
The sports component of the program emphasizes
instruction, competition, physical fitness and lifetime sports, while the
education program provides information concerning drugs and alcohol, nutrition,
math and science, higher education, and career choices.
Lisa McIntyre, activity director and UW-Eau Claire’s
head women’s gymnastics coach, said that there are a number of reasons why the
program is so successful. She mainly credits Dr. Bill Harms, associate vice
chancellor of students, and Diane Gilbertson, former activity director, who
started the program 21 years ago.
“A system is in place and has been able to cater to the
very special needs of the community, especially economically disadvantaged
families,” McIntyre said. “The fact that this five-week camp is free is so
amazing, and it is able to provide opportunities to children who might not be
able to experience some of these things if it was not for NYSP.”
The program also provides free transportation, breakfast,
lunch, physical examinations and T-shirts.
In 1991 and 1998 UW-Eau Claire’s NYSP project was
selected as the number one program in the country out of 192 programs, and each
year between 1993 and 2000 the program received a “Meritorious Award.”
“Keeping children active, instilling positive values and morals and promoting
physical fitness and education is what NYSP is all about,” McIntyre said.
On July 3, NYSP will be recognized and celebrated for its
accomplishments. Politicians, community supporters and those who have made
donations and volunteered their efforts and time will be in attendance.
For more information regarding NYSP, contact McIntyre,
NYSP activity director, at (715) 836-3377.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: June 15, 2001