HATTIESBURG – Afternoon
thunderstorms, scorching temperatures, relocation-absolutely nothing
is hindering the fun of those attending The University of Southern
Mississippi's 21st Annual National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) summer
The NYSP program serves economically disadvantaged
children between the ages of 10-16 with a free six-week camp that
involves numerous physical and educational activities.
Nearly 400 children have signed up for the camp,
which began on June 13 and ends July 18.
The camp, once home to the torn-down Southern
Miss Sports Arena, is now in full swing at Hawkins Elementary, Dahmer
Park and Lake Sehoy. The arena was demolished this past spring to
make way for the new Trent Lott Center.
"I like playing softball and doing the
fitness games the best," said 11-year-old Anna Poole from Hattiesburg.
Poole has a lot to choose from -- basketball,
volleyball, soccer, badminton, tennis, outdoor games, swimming,
canoeing and fishing.
In addition, the children are provided with three hours of educational
learning per week in the areas of nutrition, math, science, and
drug prevention education.
"Although the camp is only six weeks during
the summer, there is year-round planning involved with making the
camp a success," said NYSP administrator and camp organizer
"Also, every year we-Southern Miss professor
and assistant dean of health on Southern Miss' Gulf Coast campus
Dr. Mark Maneval and NYSP activities director Tommy Christian-have
to submit a grant proposal to the National Youth Sports Corporation
in order to receive funding and continue to be a hosting university."
Furko said NYSP hopes to return to the grounds
of Southern Miss, possibly at the Payne Center or on the intramural
fields, so camp participants can keep in contact with the university
Southern Miss is one out of more than 200 colleges
and universities that hosts the NYSP camp with full funding received
from the federal government.
For more information on the camp, please contact
Laura Furko at (601) 266-5658 firstname.lastname@example.org.