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UW-Eau Claire NYSP Program Named
Top in the Nation

RELEASED: Feb. 2, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The award-winning National Youth Sports Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is once again the top NYSP program in the country.

The National Youth Sports Corporation recently selected UW-Eau Claire for the Silvio O. Conte Award of Excellence for 2004. It is the third time (1991 and 1998) UW-Eau Claire has received the prestigious award, an unmatched achievement among the 205 programs in the nation.

Gale Wiedow, national program director of NYSP, said UW-Eau Claire has distinguished itself over the years as one of the finest programs in the country.

"What is remarkable is the record of sustained excellence that the program has demonstrated," Wiedow said. "The combination of exceptional leadership, quality staff, concern for children, excellent facilities and strong institutional commitment to taking an active role in addressing community needs has made this program a model for others to emulate."

Since 1988, the program has been among the top five NYSP programs in the country eight times and has won six additional Meritorious Awards.

"These awards represent a strong campus-community connection initiated in 1981 by Dr. William Harms, associate vice chancellor for student services," said Thomas Patt, project administrator for NYSP and director of University Recreation. "This successful partnership, in conjunction with a talented and dedicated staff, has allowed NYSP at UW-Eau Claire to have a long legacy of success in serving the children of the Chippewa Valley."

NYSP was created in 1969 as a free summer camp aimed at economically deprived families. Boys and girls ages 10 to 16 receive academic and sports skill instruction, said Lisa M. Schuetz, activity director for UW-Eau Claire's program.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service funds the program and the USDA summer food service program provides food. The program helps young people acquire good health practices and become better citizens. It also provides them with opportunities to learn various sports skills, participate in sports competition and improve physical fitness.

"Our program performs so well because of the hard work and dedication of the NYSP staff," Schuetz said. "In everything we do, we remember it is about the kids. We strive to provide a safe, fun and educational environment."

The NYSP staff includes college students, community members in the field of education and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff, all of whom go through a lengthy screening process before being hired as staff members. The 2005 program will run from June 9-July 15 at UW-Eau Claire, with registration beginning April 4.

Find more information on the UW-Eau Claire University Recreation Web site or contact Schuetz at (715) 836-2176.

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JW/JB

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