Some 290 youths are learning about healthy lifestyles and preparing for the future at a summer sports and character development camp that lasts through July 26 at West Virginia University. p. The WVU School of Physical Education is offering the National Youth Sports Program for its 15th year. The program, for disadvantaged youths ages 10-16, is being held from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Shell Building and Coliseum. Participation is free.
“This program offers young people the opportunity to learn from sports instruction, improved physical fitness and drug education,”said Bruce Wilmoth, NYSP director and an associate professor in physical education and sports studies.”They are also exposed to career and educational opportunities.”
The participants engage in sports competition, education for better health practices and becoming better citizens. The educational program involves a minimum 15 hours of instruction divided into drug education, health and nutrition, career opportunities and higher education.
Every summer, the School of Physical Education participates in the nationally sponsored event. The NYSP is a cooperative project between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The program relies on volunteers from the University and community to make sure it
runs successfully. The paid staff are mostly public school employees and college students. There are about, approximately, 10-15 student volunteers who help us out every year to qualify for their community service hours required for their high school graduation. Some of these volunteers are former NYSP participants, Wilmoth said.
The NYSP has about 200 programs operating throughout the country, including three in West Virginia. The other state programs are at West Virginia State and Bluefield State colleges.