Youth involved in NYSP This summer, approximately 250 youth from the Vermillion-area have had the opportunity to attend the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) at The University of South Dakota. Besides Vermillion, participants come from Akron (IA), Alcester, Beresford, Centerville, Elk Point, Gayville, Jefferson, Meckling, North Sioux City, Viborg, Wakonda, and Yankton. �NYSP started June 2 and runs through July 3, meeting Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DakotaDome.
Over 75,000 campers, aged 10-16, will attend the program at 205 universities across the nation. USD is the only institution in South Dakota to offer the free program.
A typical day consists of a mandatory swimming time, two sports activities, a snack and lunch, as well as educational programming. USD's program offers basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer and tennis. This is the first-year tennis has been offered, thanks to the new tennis courts outside the DakotaDome.
In addition to tennis, Don Peterson, activity director, would also like to add golf in the future.
"We like to have some sports that are lifetime sports to teach kids," Peterson said.
NYSP requires educational programs to supplement the athletic activities. USD offers 15 hours of drug and alcohol education and an additional 15 hours of instruction in farm safety, career education, nutrition guidance, table manners and hygiene.
The goals of NYSP are for the participants to improve at the sports being offered and learn from the educational programming. Peterson hopes the participants will also leave with higher self-esteem.
Peterson added that this program is "instrumental" to Vermillion and USD.
NYSP allows the kids to get a feels for USD's campus, serving as a good recruitment tool for the university. Federal grants bring in over $141,000 towards food and employment.
Twenty-eight people are employed by NYSP at USD. The program creates over 5,000 jobs nationwide.
NYSP is sponsored by the USD School of Education, the USD Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, the USD Athletic Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.