Sports program pushes forward - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sports program pushes forward

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May 26, 2006 

Albany-- Despite a lack of federal money, a 30-year-old youth program will push forward at Albany State this summer.  

"When you look at what each of these young people are provided in terms of ways and means, it's quite a shame the program was not re-funded," says Dr. Wilburn Campbell.

The National Sports Youth Program almost didn't happen this year but people pulled together to make sure economically disadvantaged youth have a place to spend the summer. The program has been in place since 1975 and gives hundreds of Albany young people an alternative to being on the streets.

Economically disadvantaged kids between the ages of ten and sixteen enjoy math and science workshops and instruction in various sports. The money for the program used to come from the federal government but this year the government cut funding for more than 50 sites including Albany State.

ASU leaders formed a committee called "Friends of NYSP" and raised $60,000 to make sure the program continued.  

"Folks said hey, we have got to make this happen because we cannot afford to not provide services for these young people who would ordinarily be out on the street," says Dr. Campbell.

The money raised is only half of what the federal grant would have provided so staff, supplies and spaces have been cut.  The program begins Tuesday and there are some spaces still available.

For more information on getting your kids signed up, call Coach Robert Skinner's office at 229-430-3817.

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