(Hampton Roads, VA) – Magic Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Kerri Strugg --all are world-class athletes who also made their mark as young champions in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games. The Games will return to Hampton Roads in the summer of 2015. The Hampton Roads Sports Commission, an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, will host the events in partnership with five local cities. On October 10, the AAU announced that the Junior Olympic Games would also be held in Hampton Roads in 2020 and 2025.
Morgan Lang, Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Sports Commission, said, “The Sports Commission is thrilled with this latest announcement. It is great news for the region, as it brings visitors to the area, enhances tourism and has a significant economic impact to our localities. The last time Hampton Roads hosted the AAU Junior Olympics Games was in 2010, and there was an estimated increase of regional spending of approximately $40 million.”
The Hampton Roads Sports Commission works with the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach to host the AAU Junior Olympic Games. The Games will be held from July 29-August 8, 2015with a new crop of outstanding amateur athletes vying for the coveted top honors. Billed as one of the largest amateur multi-sport youth events in the country, it's held annually throughout the Unites States. Other sites include Des Moines, IA; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; and New Orleans, LA.
In 2010, the Games included 14,733 athletes and their families and 2,329 coaches, who ventured to Hampton Roads from across the United States and several other countries. The athletes who traveled with their families, as well as their coaches and/or respective teammates, spent money on hotel rooms, rental cars, food, parking, gas, merchandise, entertainment and more. More than 80,000 hotel room nights across the region were generated. Nearly 72% of travelers were visiting the region for the first time. Of the non-locals attending, 72.7% stated their experience at the AAU Junior Olympic Games favorably impacted their perspective/opinion of the region and 55.1% stated they were likely to return to the region as a general tourist within the next two years.
Originally begun in 1967 with just 523 athletes and coaches, the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games have blossomed to support nearly 15,000 athletes who compete regularly around the country and have representatives from all 50 states in the union. Under the direction of the Hampton Roads Sports Commission, the region first hosted the AAU Junior Olympic Games in 1998 and stepped into the national spotlight for the fourth time in 2010 following 2001 and 2006 hosting duties. The AAU Junior Olympic Games are just one component of the Amateur Athletic Union, which collectively boasts more than a half million participants, 50,000 volunteers and 30,000 events per year.
AAU Junior Olympic Games Return to Hampton Roads -- page two
Perhaps more importantly, in addition to fostering healthy competition and building athletic ability, the Amateur Athletic Union has established a platform for the advancement of top-notch characteristics among its members. The AAU promotes a commitment to excellence, sportsmanship and discipline, each trait equally vital to the growth and development of our young Americans today. For more information, visit www.AAUJROGames.org.
About the Hampton Roads Sports Commission (www.HamptonRoadsSports.org)
In February 1999, the Hampton Roads Sports Commission (HRSC) was formed as a private/public partnership among the municipalities of Hampton Roads and the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. The Sports Commission's primary function is to attract major amateur athletic events to the area to emphasize regional collaboration. The HRSC promotes Hampton Roads while enhancing the economy and quality of life of its residents by creating and recruiting local and national amateur, military and youth sporting events, while providing unparalleled customer service. Past HRSC events include: the AAU Junior Olympic Games (1998, 2001, 2006, 2010), the National Senior Games (2003), and the Red Cross Heroes Games (2004, 2005). During the past 12 years, the HRSC has generated more than $168 million in economic impact for the region. The Hampton Roads Sports Commission is an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. Follow us on Facebook (Hampton Roads Sports Commission) and Twitter (HRSC757).
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