Cutter Broussard and Lydia Fessenden cherish the game of soccer for several reasons.
For Cutter, it’s a way to stay active.
“If not for soccer, I wouldn’t be where I’m at,” Broussard says. “I probably wouldn’t be always active.”
Lydia moved to Louisiana from Texas when she was 10 years old. For her, the sport has provided a team of friends.
“I feel like it can help people find what they love because it really did help me,” Fessenden says. “Friends being there for you, it just helps you grow as a person.”
One of those people that have helped Cutter and Lydia grow is their former coach Cory Theriot. While he’s not coaching the soccer teams, Theriot is running the North Vermilion Youth Athletic Association, the organization Cutter and Lydia play for.
They are just two of the 1,500 youth athletes Theriot oversees as president of the NVYAA, a 100 percent non-profit organization.
There’s no outside funding for NVYAA because the complex lies outside of city limits. Theriot says the only source of funding is through registration, fundraisers, and support from small businessess.
Unfortuntaly, that’s not enough.
He says more fields and equipment have become a necessity.
“As you can look around, we do not have the space,” Theriot says. “I’m at the point now where I’m running my two seasons, my two sports run together. I desparately need to get these kids split. I need to have a place for soccer, a place for baseball that way they can safely play. It also comes down to equipment that has to be replaced and also repaires, light repairs, fence repairs.”
“It does make it hard because you can’t set up drills,” Fessenden says.
There is a way to help. NVYAA is a part of South Louisiana Giving Day. Theriot says donations are welcomed and will be matched.
“So every dollar that is given to the park, it’s actually like you’re giving two,” Theriot says. “Look we have needs down from needing small things like soccer balls, baseballs, all the way up to lighting, expanding fields. Anything we get is a grace.”
And it’s a grace that will greatly benefit the athletes that call NVYAA home.
“In reality, if this place didn’t exist, these kids wouldn’t play ball,” Theriot says. “As we all know, sports keeps kids busy, keeps their minds occupied, gives them some positive reinforcement, and some leadership skills they can learn.”
To donate to the North Vermilion Youth Athletic Association, click here: https://www.southlouisianagivingday.org/nvyaa