Each year children from the greater Toledo area spend a week at The University of Toledo participating in fun youth sports activities.
The free program benefits economically disadvantaged youth ages 10 to 16 in the Toledo area. Each child is provided a lunch, sport and educational instruction, as well as transportation if needed.
The program gives participants more than just sports instruction; there are fun activities that teach them math and science, alcohol and drug awareness, personal nutrition, and self-esteem, said Dr. Ruthie Kucharewski, UT professor of health and rehabilitative services, and NYSP project administrator.
“It provides constructive use of leisure time,” Kucharewski said. “A lot of these kids have free time and don’t have anything to do, so this is a safe place where they’re with good role models and nurturing staff.”
A 2013 physical is required for enrollment, along with a completed application available at utole.do/nysp. Applications can be turned in at the Health and Human Services Building Room 1000 on UT’s Main Campus.
Because federal funding for this program has been discontinued over the years, the National Youth Sports Program at UT continues to operate on a tight budget. The program relies on grants and donations to continue helping area youth.
“We’re very fortunate to have the University and the community’s support,” Kucharewski said. “This program has been around for 44 years. We have generations of people that have gone through the program.”
Cash donations are accepted, as well as $10 gift cards to area stores to serve as incentives for good participation.
For donation information, contact Juliane Johnson, NYSP liaison, at 419.530.2888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who donate are invited to the banquet at the end of the program to celebrate the participants and their achievements.