May 30, 2006 > West Coast AAU Junior Olympic Games
West Coast AAU Junior Olympic Games
by Steve Warga
It was 40 years in the making and now it's here. The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is sponsoring a West Coast edition of their Junior Olympic Games June 28 to July 3, for the first time ever. Taking place on the beautiful University of California at Davis campus, the first West Coast AAU Junior Olympic Games will have nine sports including baseball, boys and girls' basketball, diving, football, field hockey, golf, jump rope and wrestling.
"We are looking forward to bringing the excitement and tradition of the AAU Junior Olympic Games to the West Coast," said Bobby Dodd, AAU president and CEO. "The AAU Junior Olympic Games has a long history of who's who in amateur sports. We are delighted to partner with UC Davis to make opportunities available to athletes who have not had the experience previously."
In addition to the professional facilities, athletes and parents can experience a college atmosphere by staying on the campus during the games. "Davis is a natural to host the games," said Paul Campbell, chairman of the AAU Junior Olympic Games. "Historically, the AAU Junior Olympic Games got their start decades ago on college campuses. The atmosphere and the energy can't be beat." Throughout the week, there will be events for the athletes around the campus including outdoor movies and DJ-lead dances. Culminating the activities will be an "Athlete Village" Saturday and Sunday.
Deadlines are fast approaching and spaces are filling fast, especially for the baseball competitions in both the 10 and under and 16 and under brackets. Many professional baseball players competed in the Junior Olympic Games as amateurs, including stars like Dontrelle Willis, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell, Hank Blalock, Xavier Nady, Prince Fielder and Troy Glaus.
Now is the time for interested athletes to seize a unique opportunity of participating in this inaugural event.
Complete entry packets and information can be found at www.wcaaujrogames.org or by calling AAU headquarters in Florida and talking to Amanda at (407)828-8323.