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The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has been raising champions for more than a century. Since its inception in 1888, the AAU has set the standard for amateur sports in the United States with one goal in mind: “Sports For All, Forever.” It is more than a motto – it has been the focus and drive of AAU for 130 years and counting for sports in the United States and throughout the world.
Since 1888, the AAU has raised tomorrow's leaders on today's playgrounds. Join the more than 700,000 members and compete in one of our 35 sport programs across the nation today.
The earliest days of interscholastic athletics in Ohio’s high schools, most probably starting in the immediate post-Civil War years, were a bit disorganized, to say the least. Boys (girls would have to wait a while) from one school would get a team together and challenge the boys from a neighboring school. No coaches, no set schedule, no uniforms and probably no practices, either. As time marched on, more and more schools began to participate in these interscholastic sporting events, which most likely consisted mainly of track and field events or baseball in those earliest days. These activities were totally unsupervised by school authorities, many of whom felt that they had no place in a young person’s education. Some administrators went so far as to prohibit the contests altogether.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the number one high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games originated from ‘telegraphic' state track and field competitions. National Champions were determined through telephone and/or mail entries instead of head-to-head competition. In 1949, the AAU conducted its first ‘live' national meet in Cleveland, Ohio — giving birth to the AAU Youth Sports Program. Because of the success of the national track and field head-to-head competition, AAU leaders solicited support from the business and corporate sector. The Chevrolet Division of General Motors Corporation and the Quaker Oats Company assisted the AAU in their vision of the number of youngsters that could be helped.
The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” fits nicely when describing the history and development of Bags By Coach O, a company deeply rooted in track and field with specialized divisions serving all aspects of the sport and other athletic events.