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City of Youngsville addresses concerns on enforcement that limits access to sports complex

Posted at 11:51 PM, Jan 04, 2022

The city of Youngsville is addressing one parent's concerns about a recent policy change at the sports complex that limits community access.

The parent's post has garnered attention on social media....

According to the city, children from around Acadiana can use the Youngsville sports complex for organized leagues and sports programs.

However, there is a residency requirement for indoor, unorganized volleyball and basketball.

And in the fall, enforcement of that rule was tightened.

Rachel Mouton's daughter plays varsity basketball for Southside High School, but says she was turned away from shooting hoops because she doesn't live in the city of youngsville.

“...I questioned it because my daughter went to play and she was not allowed to shoot," Mouton said.

Mouton's daughter is biracial, and in a post on social media, claimed the decision could’ve been racially-motivated.

"My biggest issue was that, you're talking about a town that's over 81 percent white and they have banned the sport that draws the largest black crowd. And it's going to largely affect the black students at Southside High School. And there aren't a lot of black students at Southside,” Mouton said.

The Mayor of Youngsville Ken Ritter, responding to the racial allegations saying, “I’m disappointed that would be an insinuation because more than half the kids that are playing basketball at our sports complex are not residents of the city of Youngsville and if this young lady had an affiliation with the sports program or any sports program that were offering we would’ve been happy to welcome her”

Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux, who was behind the proposal, disputes Mouton's claims and says instead "free play" for basketball and volleyball was restricted to residents because of limited availability, space, and supervision.

"It has nothing to do with Black or White, but wrong and right. And it's right to protect the investment of the city of Youngsville,” Boudreaux continued "We had graffiti in the bathroom, toilet paper hangers that were bolted to the walls pulled loose, we had where they were sitting on the counter tops and that was pulled from the wall. And to sit there and say "You did it." when 10 people walked in there during that time period… how do you go back and pinpoint? Because nobody's going to own up to it,” he said.

The residency requirement for "free play" is waived for anyone who is involved in organized sports programs at the complex, or guests of a Youngsville resident.

See Mayor Ritter's full response on the claims below.

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