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Coastals youth sports program gets third year funding

February 28, 2005

Coastal Carolina University has been awarded a $52,000 grant to continue the National Youth Sport program (NYSP) for the summer of 2005.

Coastals Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) was recognized by the National Youth Sports Corporation as having a high quality program that has impacted many at-risk children in the area. The federal grant was written by Gib Darden, associate professor and chair of the department and NYSP project administrator; funding is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The NYSP provides children from low-income families with academic preparation and instruction designed to improve their physical activity and health habits. In addition, the five-week summer program also acquaints participants with career and educational opportunities within a university setting. The program emphasizes the development of self-responsibility, character and leadership skills through participation in sports and physical activity.

The program has partnered with Horry County schools to determine high-need students in areas throughout the county. The program has gained in enrollment since its inception in 2003, with more than 230 children participating in the 2004 program and with an instructional/counseling staff including Coastal students, student-athletes and faculty, as well as personnel from Horry County Schools. The 2004 program successfully engaged the local community, which contributed more than $120,000 in donated goods or in-kind contributions, such as medical exams, meals and special events and speakers.

This program has been recognized as one of high quality by the National Youth Sports Corporation, said Darden. It continues to grow steadily, both in numbers of participants and within the community. It is an excellent opportunity for community partners to come together to provide something special for our economically at-risk youth.

For more information about the program, contact Gib Darden at 349-2944 or Cari Rowe at 349-4126.