FLORENCE, S.C. – Because of scheduling conflicts, officials at Francis Marion University regretfully announce that the university will be unable to host the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) this summer.
The month-long camp for youth from low-income families, has been funded in the past through a grant from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). FMU has hosted the program for the past three years, serving over 300 individuals from the Pee Dee area each summer. In 1997, the university was honored by the NCAA for having the best first-year program in the nation.
FMU officials said that first priority for space goes to programs that benefit university students. Four orientation sessions for FMU freshmen and new students scheduled for this summer, in addition to renovation work being done in the Smith University Center gymnasium, prevents the university from having the five-week window of space availability required for the NYSP program.
“We looked at every possibility, and could not formulate a solution,” said Murray Hartzler, activity director of the FMU program for the past three years. “The university is expecting to reapply for the grant next year, and hopefully the NYSP program will return to our campus in the near future. This is a wonderful camp that can truly make a difference in a kid’s life.”
The NYSP program at Francis Marion, was one of only three in the state, with the University of South Carolina and South Carolina State University hosting the others. The camp exposes participants to a college environment with instruction in sports skills, life skills, and educational topics.