By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
February 23, 2022-Cathleen Knauf has been elected President of the Capital District Youth Soccer League (CDYSL). The CDYSL was founded in 1976 and the Cathy is the 13th President and first woman in this important role.
“My goal as CDYSL President is to ensure every player, every coach and every club is afforded the same opportunities throughout the whole league,” she stated. “I want CDYSL to be fair, equitable, inclusive and to be moving forward. I wolud like our member clubs to be proud to be part of CDYSL and see that our main mission is not about who has the bigger club or best programs but who is living up to our mission and providing every program and every opportunity possible for our youth to grow, develop and love the game of soccer. I want to harness the talents and rely on the support of the amazing people on our executive committee, in our league office and within our member clubs.”
The new President first became involved in soccer, like many adults in the United States, when her kids began playing. Her twins, Mckale and Nicolette who are now in college, started playing recreation soccer in Rotterdam United Soccer Club and then travel soccer. Cathy has been married for the past 24 years and her oldest daughter is Alison.
“I became more involved when an opportunity was given us to allow them to play travel when we wouldn’t have been able to afford that opportunity,” Cathy explained. “Honored and humbled, I engrossed myself in the backstage of soccer.”
The Schenectady resident took on roles as team manager for several age groups, Board Member, Registrar, Trainer and Liaison for team managers and CDYSL rep. She had been on the Advisory Board for Firestorm FC for the past three years.
“After going to the CDYSL meetings for several years, I realized for the smaller clubs to be heard, I needed to step up and play a role on the CDYSL Board and was elected Secretary four years ago,” Cathy said. “Since that time, I have worked to support players, coaches, referees and those fighting to protect our mission by being an advocate for fair treatment of all members and for change. I became President after clubs reached out to me.”
And volunteering as the new CDYSL President is in addition to working as Executive Secretary for a Superintendent’s office, working part-time at Stewart’s Shops as well as attending Empire State College full-time as she completes her Human Resources Bachelor’s Degree.
“To say I am busy is probably an understatement but I have always juggled many roles. I believe each role has given me more knowledge to handle all sorts of situations as they arise and to get to know people from all walks of life.”
With approximately 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 nine 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 Children With Special Needs. 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. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/