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Westport's Youth Sports Win National Praise

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport's Parks and Recreation Department's youth sports program has hit a home run. Recently, the National Alliance for Youth Sports , a nonprofit that advocates for children's sports safety, named the town a 2011 Excellence in Youth Sports award winner.

The award, presented in part with Athletic Business magazine, also recognizes programs that offer a variety of sports.

"We work hard to make the best youth sports experience possible in our community and to win an award like this really makes it all worthwhile," said Karen Puskas, the Parks and Recreation Department program manager, in a statement.

"While our department has led the way in the campaign to make youth sports in Westport an encouraging and constructive experience in a sound environment, a lot of the credit goes to the community's youth sports providers who have worked hand in hand with us to make it happen," she said.

These community youth sports organizations include the Westport Soccer Association, Westport Baseball and Softball, Westport Basketball Association, Westport Field Hockey Association, Westport Y basketball and the Westport Police Athletic League, which offers football, cheerleading, wrestling, basketball, track and lacrosse.

The town will receive its award during the NAYS Youth Sports Congress in Orlando, Fla., which takes place from Nov. 30 through Dec.3.

"Life-long skills are often learned at a young age," said John Engh, chief operating officer at National Aliiance for Youth Sports. "The National Alliance for Youth Sports applauds the town of Westport's Parks and Recreation Department for its commitment to providing the children in their program with positive, rewarding opportunities through youth sports."

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