Amateur Athletic Union
Ambition. Admiration. Unstoppable.
Written by Megan Johnson McCullough: AAU Athlete Representative, Professional Natural PNBA Bodybuilding Figure Champion, NASM Master Trainer, Men’s Health Fitness Council Member
The Amateur Athletic Union, better known as AAU, has a remarkable history in the sports world. SO many athletes have gotten their start with this upstanding organization. Even I started my basketball days with them, and looking back, AAU has always been about the athletes. They truly uphold their commitment to “Sports For All, Forever”.
AAU was founded in 1888. Yes, 1888!!!! Today is has grown to over 700,000 participants and 150,000 volunteers. The list of sports one can partake in seems unending. Adding to the athletes, think of all the coaches, score keepers, organizers, and spectators involved. Here’s the list: baseball, basketball, baton, bodybuilding, bowling, cheerleading, dance, diving, fast pitch, football, golf, hockey, jump rope, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, sport stacking, softball, strength sports (feats of strength, powerlifting, weightlifting), surfing, swimming, table tennis, target shooting, track and field, trampoline, volleyball, wrestling. There is so much to offer that the organization is broken up into districts. One is required to be a member to AAU, which ensures that all standards and uniformity is met for all sports, at all levels. No wonder it has become the largest non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations.
Here’s the Amateur Athletic Union’s Mission Statement: “To offer amateur sports programs through a volunteer base for all people to have the physical, mental, and moral development of amateur athletes and to promote good sportsmanship and good citizenship” (http://aausports.org/resources/governance/mission-statement) . Followed by their Vision Statement: “To offer amateur athletes and volunteers opportunities to develop to their highest level through a national and local network of sporting events. Through participation in AAU, we achieve our dreams as athletes and as valued citizens of our communities” (http://aausports.org/resources/governance/mission-statement).
I look back at the influential coaches in my life and the opportunities AAU provided me as an athlete. I was able to receive a full-ride basketball scholarship as a result. Competitive sport participation builds the foundations for future leaders of our communities. Most times, the AAU participants give back and become a coach themselves in the future. I sure did. I’m still competing today.
As an AAU athlete, I’m grateful to be part of the growing movement to bring back Bodybuilding and the different classes including Mixed Pairs, Bikini, Classic Physique, Figure, Physique, and Sports Model. AAU is about the ATHLETE and now in my later years of life, I’m still able to feel like one because of them. I will do my best to spread my passion and commitment to this organization so that others can share the great experiences I have had. AAU allows me to be me and uphold my goals to lead others by example with Ambition and Admiration in an Unstoppable fashion.