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Matt Kawamoto and Bryce Woodson help introduce new sport to camp curriculum

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Now in its fifth decade as a summer staple on the campus of the Ohio State University, LiFE Sports (formerly known as the National Youth in Sports Program) has continued a quest to broaden the horizons of thousands of Central Ohio youth.

Throughout the years, LiFE Sports campers not only have learned sportsmanship and social skills through activities involving basketball, football, soccer and track and field, but they also have been introduced to new sports they may not have come across as children and adolescents. LiFE Sports has been at the forefront in adding new aspects each year to further educate each camper.

In 2010, lacrosse – the nation’s fastest growing sport – was added to the sports program. With its origin coming out of the east coast, lacrosse has steadily started to build a national following. With its inclusion into the LiFE Sports activity plan, the sport now reaches inner city youth in Central Ohio.

“This is huge,” LiFE counselor Bryce Woodson, a rising senior midfielder for the Buckeyes, said. “A lot of these kids are coming from inner city schools and they have not been exposed to much. For them to come out here to one of the best universities and campuses in the country is huge. For them to interact with counselors like ourselves that are going to college and doing athletics, it gives them something to look forward to and something to aim at.”

The addition of lacrosse to the LiFE Sports program speaks to OSU’s core initiative of continuing to offer the summer program to Central Ohio youth.  

“This is incredible (for the campers),” fellow counselor Matt Kawamoto, who will be senior defender in 2011, said. “This (LiFE Sports) used to be a government funded program. It folded two years ago and Ohio State picked it up because they wanted to continue to give these kids a chance to play sports and continue to be active.”

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.