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Wisconsin Youth Sports Program Receives Grant

RELEASED: June 1, 2009

WYSP logoEAU CLAIRE — The Wisconsin Youth Sports Program summer camp on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus has received a $1,000 grant from the Eau Claire Community Foundation through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

The WYSP program provides a free camp experience for low-income and at-risk youth whose families might not otherwise be able to provide them with safe, educational summer activities. In addition to traditional sports such as basketball and softball, the camp includes educational sessions on topics such as nutrition, drugs and alcohol, math, science and leadership skills.

"The grant funding will help WYSP provide the Eagle's View Challenge Ropes Course experience to Chippewa Valley youth aged 10-16 who participate in the program," said Vicki Funne Reed, the WYSP program administrator."This valuable experience assists children with developing self-confidence, communication and leadership skills. Without this grant, the ropes course experience would not be possible."

Formerly called the National Youth Sports Program, the camp lost federal support last year when the federal government eliminated funds for the program. The camp, which has served more than 10,000 children for the past 27 years, renamed itself the Wisconsin Youth Sports Program and has continued with area sponsors helping to fund the program.

The program also has partners in the Chippewa Valley who provide valuable services to the program, Reed said. The Eau Claire Area School District, the Building Bridges program and the Altoona School District have all been long-standing partners with the program. 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.

WYSP also receives support through local charity events such as the Shamrock Shuffle 5k run/walk, the Rock Hard Blugold Triathlon and the Early Birdie Golf Outing.

For more information on the grant or to become a sponsor or community partner for WYSP, contact Reed at 715-836-4931 or reedvf@uwec.edu.

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KH/JP

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