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NYSP to Continue with New Name of WYSP and Local Support

RELEASED: Feb. 15, 2008

WYSP logoEAU CLAIRE — The National Youth Sports Program summer camp that has served more than 10,000 area youth at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus during the past 27 years is getting a new name.

Although the federal government has eliminated funding for the program, UW-Eau Claire has decided to continue it and rename it the Wisconsin Youth Sports Program, said Lisa Schuetz, director of NYSP the past 5 years.

WYSP will continue to serve Chippewa Valley youth aged 10-16 years, Schuetz said. The program's primary focus is providing a high-quality camp experience for low-income and at-risk youth whose families might not otherwise be able to provide them with safe, educational summer activities, she said.

"Our camp has been free to all participants, and we are keeping that the same," said Schuetz. "We are looking for sponsors in the Chippewa Valley to fund our program for years to come."

Schuetz said organizers are proud of the long-standing partnerships they have with the Eau Claire Area School District, the Building Bridges program and the Altoona School District, which have helped underwrite the program's cost. Other partners include the UW-Health/Family Medicine Clinic in Eau Claire, which provides free medical exams to participants, and the Chippewa Valley Technical College dental hygiene program, which offers a free dental screening and cleaning to campers.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for our participants, many of whom have limited access to health care," Schuetz said.

WYSP also will receive support through local charity events such as the Shamrock Shuffle 5k run/walk on March 9, the Blugold Rock Hard Triathlon on May 3, and the Early Birdie Golf Classic on May 9.

This year's five-week program will run June 10-July 11 (no camp July 2-4). Schuetz expects more than 400 area children to enroll.

Although the name implies the camp is all about sports, Schuetz said it is much more. In addition to traditional sports such as basketball and softball, the camp includes educational sessions on topics such as nutrition, drugs and alcohol, development of math, science and leadership skills.

Participants receive two free federally subsidized meals daily on site and free bus transportation from designated pick-up points to and from camp for students in the Eau Claire or Altoona school districts.

Registration for this year's camp, via phone from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will begin April 14. To register, call 715-836-3377 or 715-836-3378.

For information on becoming a sponsor or community partner for WYSP, contact Schuetz at 715-836-2400 or schuetlm@uwec.edu.

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NW

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