Thanks to a cooperative project between the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and colleges and universities across the countryincluding West Virginia Universitydisadvantaged youth ages 10-16 can enjoy a fulfilling and healthy summerat no expense.

The National Youth Sports Program, or NYSP , is now entering its 13th year at WVU , according to director Bruce Wilmoth of the School of Physical Education, and the growth of the program has been amazing.

“The first year we struggled to get 250 childrenour target number,”he said.”Last year, over 460 students registered, and were looking for those kinds of numbers again this summer when our camp gears up in June.”

Not only are kids benefiting from sports instruction, improved physical fitness and drug education, but those enrolled are also being exposed to career and educational opportunities, Wilmoth said.

NYSP operates from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 22 through July 28 (excluding July 3-4), and is free to participants. Home base is the WVU Shell Building and related athletic facilities on the Evansdale Campus. An orientation session and physical exams are set for June 21.

Besides Wilmoth, the program relies on about 25 staff membersmostly school teachers and college students5 bus drivers and about 8_10 volunteers from the community.

Bus transportation is provided on a limited basis throughout the county, and a USDA approved lunch is served each day.

Wilmoth said the NCAA has been administering NYSP for 32 years through a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. Today there are 200 programs operating throughout the countrythree are in West Virginia.

Besides WVU , West Virginia State and Bluefield State Colleges run NYSP .

To find out more, call 293-7566 or 293-3295 ext. 5286.