By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
May 1, 2019-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that Jimmy Svendsen is being honored as our Personality of the Month for May. It’s also the month of his birthday as he was born on May 26.
Jimmy started playing for Sporting Club Gjøa in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) as an Under-8 player and finished playing youth soccer when he was in the Under-16 age group. As a 15-year-old in 1980, Jimmy started coaching the Boys-Under-10 Scandinavian Sports Club Vikings, then returned to Gjøa a couple of years later to coach their teams.
He coached for over three decades, for Gjøa, the CJSL Select Teams, Xavier High School and Lawrence High School. Additionally, Jimmy started the soccer team at Bishop Kearney High School in Brooklyn, an all-girls school. He is currently Gjøa’s Youth Director, a position he has held for many years, and volunteered as Gjøa's President.
“I am most proud of the coaching that I have done for both the CJSL Select Program and for SC Gjøa, especially my Gjøa Norsemen, who I coached for 10 years,” he commented. “We won a number of championships, tournaments, travelled to Norway for the Norway Cup and Minnesota for the USA Cup. But most importantly, developed lifelong friendships with the players and their parents.”
Jimmy has held every position on the CJSL Executive Board (except Secretary) since Emil Cohill asked him to become involved with it in 1982 while still a teenager. The Glenwood Landing resident had two tours of duty as CJSL President, from 1998 to 2000, and then from 2015 to 2017.
2005 was Jimmy’s year as he received Lifetime Membership, soccer’s version of the Lifetime Achievement Award, from both the CJSL and Gjøa. Jimmy was inducted into the CJSL Hall of Fame in 2013, the Gjøa Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Eastern New York Hall of Fame in 2017. Currently, he serves Eastern New York and the CJSL as the Treasurer of both non-profit organizations.
Burt Wilkes has known him for decades, also volunteered as CJSL President like Jimmy and nominated him for Personality of the Month since “Jimmy has been essential in growing the game of soccer in both the CJSL and his own club of Gjøa. He always has reasonable and creative ideas for growth and improvement.“
It’s been a life well-lived as all this volunteering is in addition to Jimmy's “real job” being the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District.
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 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 Association. For more information, please log onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.