By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 12, 2016-Jim Eleftherion volunteers for the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) in many wonderful ways. The Mahopac resident is the elected Treasurer of Eastern New York while also serving on the Insurance and Olympic Development Program Scholarship Committees, in addition to being the Chairperson of the Budget and Risk Management Committees. It’s his work in the last role that has seen him appointed to the Risk Management Committee of the U.S. Youth Soccer Association.
“Somehow, Jim finds the time to make a difference to Eastern New York in so many ways and I am happy to now see him bringing his expertise on Risk Management to the national level,” commented ENYYSA President Richard Christiano.
Jim is an acknowledged leader in establishing programs to protect children, serving first as a founding member and then becoming Chairperson seven years ago of Eastern New York's Risk Management Program. 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 we also provide awareness education to coaches, communicating information regarding field and player safety.
“Jim has been an extraordinary presence in youth soccer for more than two decades,” commented ENYYSA First Vice President Ken Gulmi, “During his time in soccer, he has served as an intramural, travel team and men's adult team coach, soccer club president, Trustee, Second Vice President and currently First Vice President of the East Hudson Youth Soccer League as well as Trustee and he is currently Treasurer of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association.”
As President of the Mahopac Sports Association Soccer Club, he oversaw the financial restructuring of Mahopac, grew registrations by 25% in only three years, created a TOPSoccer program for the physically-challenged, renovated town fields and promoted a culture of coaching education where little had existed before him.
He joined East Hudson’s Board of Directors as Trustee 17 years ago, moving up the ladder in many diverse roles and is now First Vice President and Games Chairperson. He has chaired the league's Risk Management Program since its inception, making it the benchmark in child protection throughout the state association. He also chaired or served on the office management, supervisory, appeals and Premier League committees. Jim also served as Director of the Hudson Invitational Tournament for four years, improving the quality of the tournament and helping make it the premier summer event it has become today.
Seven years ago, the Brooklyn native was elected to the Board of Directors of ENYYSA, then became Treasurer two years later. In the past five years, Jim has done an incredible job of completely restructuring our association's financial controls and reporting systems, moving to both a very sound financial footing and also to iron-clad auditability. This required that he add to his already considerable volunteer workload but he did it gladly for the good of the organization.
With Jim again leading the way and agreeing to serve as President, the Greater Hudson Valley Soccer League for Under-23 players was founded in 2009 and Jim continues in this role today.
“The number of committees and jobs in which he serves, from highly visible and important to very quiet and unobserved, mark him as a selfless man who first, last and always does what’s right for the players and the sport,” Gulmi added. “His capacity for work, his passion for the sport and especially for its players and their success has been consistent throughout his more than two decades in soccer.”
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.