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Continuation of former National Youth in Sports Program earns $56,000 to aid in funding for next two years, watch award presentation on WOSU  

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State University’s Learning in Fitness and Education (LiFE) summer youth program was the recipient of a University Outreach and Excellence in Engagement Grant Friday at the 2009 James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture at The Ohio State University’s 4-H Center.

LiFE Sports, which is the new moniker for the former National Youth in Sports Program (NYSP) at Ohio State, was awarded a $56,000 grant to aid in funding the program for the next two years.

The grant’s aim is to “Support an interdisciplinary team to build upon their academic/research excellence and to establish an innovative, creative, scholarly outreach and engagement initiative that contributes to the university’s efforts to understand and address the pressing needs of communities.”

The 6th Annual James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture is being broadcast on WOSU Public Media during May: On WOSU Plus (34.1), Fridays, May 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29, 9-10 p.m. On WOSU TV/HD (34.3), Sunday, May 3, 11-12 p.m.

Dr. Jerry Davis, assistant director of event management in the Department of Athletics, heads the LiFE Sports program at Ohio State. LiFE Sports has emerged from the NYSP program Ohio State originally piloted in 1968. Government funding for NYSP was cut in 2006 and the number of national colleges and universities holding NYSP summer programs dropped dramatically from more than 200 to less than 30 in 2008.

Davis envisions LiFE Sports not only as a setting for continued summer learning, but a year-round enrichment program intended to utilize sport as a vehicle to teach important life skills that can then be transferred to other contexts.

“This is a University program spearheaded by the Department of Athletics, the College of Social Work and Rec Sports to pursue providing a year-round  program through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus,” Davis said.

As in the past with NYSP, LiFE Sports will continue to engage current Ohio State students and student-athletes as instructors, mentors and speakers each year. In 2008, James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman of the football team, Danny Peters of men’s basketball, Amanda Ball of women’s soccer, and several other Buckeye student-athletes were active participants in the camp.

About LiFE Sports

LiFE Sports is a four-week summer sports program for 600 youth from the Central Ohio area. The program runs daily from approximately 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The daily curriculum consists of four physical activity sessions and one play-based education session. These activities focus on the development of social competence through sport and other play-based enrichment activities. Participants receive breakfast and lunch each day as well.

NOTE: LiFE Sports was a co-recipient of the grant along with OSU’s College of Social Work; Department of Athletics; School of Physical Activities and Educational Services; College of Education and Human Ecology; Boys and Girls Club of Columbus; Ohio Department of Education; Office for Safety, Health and Nutrition; University Admissions and First-Year Experience; Economic Access Iniative; and the Department of Recreational Sports.