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National Youth Sports Program summer camp enters 50th year at UToledo

The National Youth Sports Program at The University of Toledo is celebrating its 50th year of providing income eligible youth with free educational and athletic activities.

The three-week summer camp, which kicked off yesterday, will be held weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Friday, June 21.

About 150 area youth between the ages of 9 and 16 are expected to participate in this year’s program, which helps children build social skills, confidence and healthy lifestyles.

“For 50 years, the administration at The University of Toledo has seen the National Youth Sports Program as an asset to the community and to the University. There’s a lot of credit due to a lot of people, and I’m proud we’re able to continue offering this enriching experience,” said Dr. Ruthie Kucharewski, professor and chair in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, and administrator of the National Youth Sports Program.

A celebration to recognize the 50th university will be held at noon on Sunday, June 9, in the Health Education Center gym.

The National Youth Sports Program was established by an act of Congress in 1968. UToledo was one of the first universities in the country to offer the federally funded program the following year. Though federal funding for the program has since been cut, UToledo continues to host the camp annually through fundraising and in-kind donations.

More than 14,000 children are estimated to have participated during the program’s 50 year history.

Participants receive instruction in a number of sports and recreational activities, such as soccer, basketball, track, swimming and fishing. Today’s schedule includes basketball, softball and flag football.

In addition to the athletic and recreation therapy activities, the youth are provided educational and health programs; academic tutoring; information about nutrition and personal hygiene; peer-refusal skills; and alcohol, tobacco and other drug seminars.

The camp also has several field trips scheduled, including visits to the Indian Creek Zoo and Side Cut Metropark, and features a local guest speaker every day at lunch to inspire the children to become the best version of themselves.

“We want to make our community’s youth well-rounded individuals. We’re helping them to grow emotionally, psychologically, physically and socially through a variety of constructive recreational activities and educational experiences,” Kucharewski said. “I think that the experiences the children have at NYSP helps stimulate their imagination about their future, about what they might aspire to be when they grow up.”


is Tyrel Linkhorn is UT's Media Relations Specialist. Contact him at 419.530.5549 or
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