By Les Morris
A good idea has now become reality as the Noblesville Youth Sports Alliance officially got off the ground last month. Comprised of 15 youth sports organizations, the partnership is designed to enhance youth sports programming and engagement for current and future residents of Noblesville.
David Leyda has been named the organization’s executive director and will lead the group’s daily operations. Leyda has served as a coach, volunteer and board member for youth sports, including coaching Boys & Girls Club basketball, Babe Ruth baseball and NEFL football, for several years. He is also a past president of Noblesville Youth Baseball.
The City of Noblesville is providing seed money of $20,000 per year for two years to help fund the effort.
“Noblesville is fortunate to have many successful youth sports groups,” Mayor Chris Jensen stated in a press release. “Through conversations with many residents and stakeholders, it became apparent that a unified coordinating and marketing structure would help sustain gains made to date and enhance our overall position going forward.”
Leyda said he and the mayor have discussed the importance of youth sports not only to current residents but also to companies thinking of locating in Noblesville.
Last fall, Jensen, along with the support of the school corporation, convened an introductory meeting for interested parties. The working title for the group at that time was the Noblesville Youth Sports Authority. The word “authority” seemed too strong so “alliance” was substituted to emphasize the synergies the various organizations could with each other.
“Once we pivoted to that, everybody was on board,” Leyda said. “Everyone realized there is no downside to this. How could we not do this?”
One of the early marketing projects will be the development of a comprehensive website that provides information about youth sports organizations in Noblesville and registration links for all member organizations.
Each member organization will get one seat on the alliance’s board. Heather Hendrich, the Noblesville Schools assistant superintendent for human resources and safety will serve as the school corporation’s liaison to the alliance. Longtime Noblesville resident Perry Williams will serve as the city’s liaison to the alliance.
Leyda is more than ready to get started.
“I am so fired up and excited for this opportunity because I believe in youth sports and the community and trying to help these organizations elevate their game in any way we can,” he said.