Our History

The LiFEsports Initiative is built upon a historical community outreach program operating at OSU for the past 40 years, the National Youth Sport Program (NYSP). Originally developed in 1968, NYSP was designed to provide economically disadvantaged children and adolescents, ages 9-17, with sport and education instruction in a safe and nurturing environment during the summer months. OSU was one of the original NYSPs, beginning its initial operation in 1968. In 2006, all funding was cut from the federal budget to support this program. Following this cut in funding, the OSU College of Social Work and Department of Athletics partnered to enhance and develop the LiFEsports Initiative into a national youth development program model, teaching and professional development institute, and research institution. Today, LiFEsports is not just a camp (serving youth from age 9 to 8th grade); it is a university-wide youth development initiative. LiFEsports serves as a model for others showcasing how other universities and youth service organizations can support student teaching, graduate research on best practices, and impact the community.

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