U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge knows how important it is for young people to have a healthy start toward creating positive habits.
That’s why she’s putting her legislative support behind the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP).
The program, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, once served 75,000 young people nationwide. However, federal budget cuts have resulted in only 7,000 students reaping the benefits this year.
If Fudge can help it, more youths will once again participate in the educational, athletic, medical and nutritional offerings provided through NYSP on college campuses such as Case Western Reserve.
“I have decided I’m going to carry this program as far as I can. I’m going to put this program on my back,” she told an audience of 150 current and former NYSP participants, parents and supporters who gathered Monday morning at Case Western Reserve to mark the program’s 40th anniversary.
Fudge recently introduced the National Youth Sports Program Revitalization Act of 2010. If enacted, $20 million would be appropriated toward NYSP annually through 2021.
Case Western Reserve is one of only 25 colleges and universities nationwide still hosting the NYSP program, down from 202. When the university’s NYSP chapter lost federal funding in 2006, community supporters rallied together to keep the program operational. This summer, nearly 560 youths between the ages of 10 and 16 are participating.
The program, which includes student, faculty and staff volunteers, primarily serves economically disadvantaged youths.
Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder said she knows when the NYSP participants arrive on campus due to the chorus of giddy voices she hears coming from the quad. “I hear in those voices optimism, promise and opportunity. They learn a lot about sports, fitness, fair play and their own potential. They get to see all that a college campus has to offer. We’re proud to have been among the first NYSP programs in the country.”
Retired U. S. Rep. Louis Stokes told the audience that NYSP “was one of the finest programs enacted by the United States Congress.” He added that NYSP allows youths to rise “above and beyond environmental circumstances” in which they sometimes find themselves.
Case Western Reserve’s 2010 NYSP program wraps up July 16. Learn more
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