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APSU's national youth sports program receives national honor

April 16, 2002

Under the leadership of George Harris, director of intramurals, Austin Peay's National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) has been honored for compliance with all NYSP guidelines, an honor received by only 88 of 210 programs.

Austin Peay's NYSP was named Best New Program in 1996.

Targeted primarily at low-income participants, the National Youth Sports Program is a five-week summer sports camp for children 10-16.

There is no fee for the camp, but students must have a physical exam before participating. Area businesses donate money and supplies to defray the costs.

Students receive instruction in soccer, softball, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis and volleyball. In addition, there is an educational component consisting of drug and alcohol awareness and math, science and health education.

At the end of the program, awards are given to students for sportsmanship, attendance and participation.

"Our goal is to give children the chance to play sports and to provide them with
the opportunity to learn more about life. NYSP allows the University to bring in at-risk children and show them that APSU does care," said Harris, who serves as project administrator.

Last summer 350 children enrolled in the program.

"I think it's great for the program and the University. NYSP provides a wonderful opportunity for middle school and high school students to come into a collegiate environment.

"We hope for continued success. This is a good community endeavor for APSU," said Harris.