National Youth Sports Program Kicks Off 17th Year

Dr. Nita Unruh
Department of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Studies, 308.865.8626 or

This summer, more than 300 youth from across South Central Nebraska are taking part in the 17th annual National Youth Sports Program held at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Math and science, nutrition, careers, drug and alcohol prevention, and personal development are all topics of discussion during the camp, according to Dr. Nita Unruh, NYSP project director and community liaison.

Kids ages 10-16 attend the camp and come to the camp from as far west as Gothenburg , as far east as Grand Island , south to Holdrege  and north to Amherst , Dr. Unruh said.

“NYSP is an invaluable program for the children of South Central Nebraska,” she said. “At our camp, we provide a safe, healthy, educational and exciting place for these children to come for five weeks in the summer.”

Each day, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the participants are involved in two hours of physical activity and are expected to participate one hour in the classroom as well.

The program is sponsored by a $64,500 United States Department of Health and Human Services grant. UNK also received a $25,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to provide a nutritious breakfast, snack and lunch for the campers each day.

“Our goal is to promote good citizenship, self-esteem and healthy lifestyles, Dr. Unruh said.

Although UNK is one of 214 campuses across the country that hosts an NYSP program , according to Dr. Unruh, UNK is one of very few rural campuses in the nation that participate.

“Most of the areas that hold NYSP programs are in inner cities,” she said. “We’d like to think of our program as rural, because youth are bused to the UNK campus from many areas.”

NYSP staff members are listed below, alphabetically by hometown/community:

 – Regina Zaruba  
  – Amber Tiefenthaler  
 – Will Floe  
  – Michelle McGeorge  
  – Tyler Herman  
  – Ashley Scantling, Luke Estes, Tayler McMinamen, Justin Arellano, Cristina Hernandez, Steven Howe  
  – Jake Froscheiser  
  – Amber Burke  
  – Hilary French  
North Platte
 – Jacob Mohs  
 – Kim Heaton  
  – Josh Lewis  
 – Mike Brummer


Casper – Josh Tolin


Colby – Riley Ross

Grand Rapids
 – Jen MacKay