By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 14, 2015-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that longtime volunteer Lynne Thibdeau (thib-do) is being honored as our Personality of the Month for July.
“We are very pleased to honor Lynne as our Personality of the Month since she has done so many important things to give back to the game, including serving as our Secretary for the past 12 years,” commented ENYYSA President Richard Christiano.
Lynne became involved with soccer, like many other people, when her children started playing three decades ago.
“All three of my sons began playing soccer when they were very young. Two of my sons developed a true love of the game and eventually played in college,” Lynne explained. “So I became involved with the Bethlehem Soccer Club, first with the intramural program with almost 2,000 players, and then a couple of years later with the travel teams. My involvement was also encouraged by many good people along the way, namely Bill Silverman and Bill Cushing. My husband, Mike, and I developed many friendships during this time and still cherish these friendships.”
The Eastern New York Hall of Famer was eventually elected President of the Bethlehem Soccer Club and her many roles with the club included registration, team assignments, helping develop the Bethlehem Soccerplex and organizing the six-week Bethlehem Indoor Tournament.
“We ran the indoor tournament in the Bethlehem High School gym, in the days before indoor domes,” she stated. “This tournament raised the funds that allowed Bethlehem to pay off the mortgage on the fields. The mortgage was paid early, but there were four families that had signed the mortgage to purchase the land. Around 1998 or so, we had a mortgage burning party.”
Lynne became involved with Bethlehem’s league, the Capital District Youth Soccer League (CDYSL), serving as Games Committee Chairperson from 1995 to 2000 and as a member of the Board of Directors from 1994 to 2002. She seemingly did it all with the CDYSL, including coordinating fields, travel team assignments, field development, referee training, coach licensing and serving as travel team manager.
In 2003, Lynne was elected Secretary of Eastern New York and has served in this capacity for the past dozen years. She is also currently on six different Eastern New York committees.
The Guilderland resident is particularly proud of establishing Eastern New York’s Risk Management System in 2003, way before most other non-profit organizations did the same. To protect our players, Eastern New York conducts background checks on coaches and referees before they can participate in our games. They must pass this background check every two years to continue to be involved in our competitions and currently, they must also pass a test about concussion awareness as part of Risk Management.
Lynne also helped create Eastern New York’s infrastructure. She participated in the development of the member management system with Ray Ward, re-organized the office in Rockville Centre by having functions centralized and modernized plus worked with past President Barry Salter in helping bring Eastern New York through challenging financial times.
“Most recently, I had the privilege of working with Tim Bradbury in the Coaching Education area where a coaching instruction staff was created, NSCAA courses offered and through Tim's effort, brought a National C License Course to New York,” she added. “Educating parents, coaches and players should continue to be a top priority for Eastern New York.”
Lynne does all of this volunteering while working in her “real job” as Assistant Director of Employment and Meaningful Community Activities with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Congratulations to Lynne Thibdeau, Eastern New York’s Personality of the Month for July.
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.