NDSU program recognized as NYSS Champion

Fargo, N.D., September 17 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has recognized NDSU’s Leadership in Physical Education and Sport master’s degree program as one of the first organizations to join the National Youth Sports Strategy Champion program.

The NYSS program is the first federal roadmap with actionable strategies to increase participation in youth sports, increase awareness of the benefits of youth sports participation, monitor and evaluate youth sports participation, and recruit and engage volunteers in youth sports programming.

The program’s vision is that one day all youth will have the opportunity, motivation and access to play sports — regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, ability or ZIP code. NYSS Champions represent organizations that are working toward that goal.

NDSU’s degree program has demonstrated support of youth sports and commitment to the NYSS vision, and will be recognized along with other NYSS Champions on health.gov.

“We know children who obtain regular physical activity gain important physical and mental health benefits, which are more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Brett Giroir, HHS assistant secretary for health. “I’m thrilled to acknowledge the work of the NYSS Champions who are helping to foster a lifelong love of sports and physical activity for our nation’s youth.”

“We are excited to be one of the first graduate programs in the U.S. to be included as part of the NYSS Champion platform,” said Brad Strand, NDSU professor of health, nutrition and exercise science at NDSU. “Our program is focused on championing appropriate coaching education and exemplary leadership practices.”

According to Strand, NDSU’s degree program has identified three focus areas:

• Implement the principles of the American Development Model within youth sports programs

• Promote physical literacy (the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life) as a foundation for sports programs

• Encourage playing more than one sport throughout the year

The Leadership in Physical Education and Sport program at NDSU is an online graduate program offered through the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science. The degree prepares students to be master teachers, head coaches, department heads and activities directors at the interscholastic level; assistant coaches, lecturers and assistant or lead directors at the intercollegiate level; and to become actively engaged in leadership roles within professional organizations.

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