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New After-school Programs With Youth Sports Alliance

Youth Sports Alliance

School is starting in just a couple weeks, which also means that after-school programs with the Youth Sports Alliance will begin soon. 

YSA Youth Programs Director Heather Sims says the organization has added new programs to their Get Out and Play and ACTiV8 lineups, including welding, rowing and more.

“We've got a new program with some local Summit County sheriffs called 'Blue Line Combatives,' and they're going to be doing some self-defense classes," Sims said. "As well as cooking and mountain biking, and then we also have programs out in South Summit now, and so they're going to be doing biathlon and some mountain biking and photography as well as our Get Out and Play programs, which is mountain biking and triathlon.”

Get Out and Play programming is geared toward younger students, from first through fifth grades, while ACTiV8 targets sixth through ninth graders. Sims says YSA’s after-school programming begins in full in mid-September.

Last year was the first year programming was offered in the South Summit School District. As well as doing outreach in that area, Sims says YSA has a long-term plan to provide programming to all of Summit County and into Wasatch County.

“We have such great activities here in Park City and great partners," Sims said. "Some of our partners actually have employees in those areas, and they work full-time, too, and they want their kids to have the same opportunities as our local Park City kids.”

Scholarships are available for Get Out and Play and ACTiV8 participants who demonstrate financial need, like students who qualify for free school lunch. YSA also provides financial assistance for athletes on YSA member teams, including Park City Ski & Snowboard and Wasatch Freestyle Foundation, through the YSA Stein Eriksen Dare to Dream Scholarship. Applications opened Aug. 1 and close Sept. 4. YSA Development Director Jana Dalton says 100 athletes typically apply.

“A lot of these kids try programs and Get Out and Play, and they love it, so they want to move on and continue in their sport," Dalton said. "But oftentimes it's difficult with finances and may not be affordable for everybody, so we have the Stein Erickson Opportunity Endowment that provides scholarships to these seven winter sports clubs and junior-level athletes.”

YSA scholarships are partly funded by the organizations’ JANS Winter Welcome event. This year’s fundraiser is Oct. 26, and Dalton says tickets are 70% sold out for the evening of dinner, dancing and auction.

“We also have our opportunity drawing, so all of the sales from the opportunity drawing go directly back to the seven winter sports clubs," Dalton said. "And that grand prize this year is a Greek island cruise for two on a 148-passenger sailboat, so it's a little different than your traditional cruise ship. It's very unique, and it's going to be an amazing trip.”

Guardians can register their students for YSA’s programming at back-to-school nights and online at ysaparkcity.org, where people can also find more information about programming, scholarships and the JANS Winter Welcome event.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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