In This Section

Coastal's youth sports program gets second year funding

December 17, 2003

Coastal Carolina University has been awarded a $50,000 grant to continue the National Youth Sport program (NYSP) for the summer of 2004.

Coastal's Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) was recognized by the National Youth Sports Corporation as having a high quality program that impacted many at-risk children in the area. The grant was written by Gib Darden, associate professor and chair of the department and NYSP project administrator.

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, self-esteem and leadership skills through participation in sports and physical activity.

This past summer, Coastal partnered with Horry County schools to target high need students in the Conway area. An average of more than 160 children ages 10 to16 attended the program daily, with an instructional/counseling staff including 12 Coastal students and student-athletes. Several staff members were also employees of Horry County Schools and Coastal Carolina University. The 2003 program successfully engaged the local community, totaling more than $100,000 in donated goods or in-kind contributions, such as transportation, meals and special events.

"A second year of funding is great because it validates we had a quality first-year program. It recognizes that we have something special here," said Darden. "What is most exciting is that this program can grow and engage more low-income families in the community. It is also exciting that the NYSP has the potential to involve Coastal faculty and students in both scholarship and applied experiences related to the development of at-risk youth through health and physical activity."

For more information about the program, contact Gib Darden at 349-2944.