ORLANDO, Fla. (June 8, 2017) – More than 35,000 athletes from across the country, including thousands of Orlando-area athletes, are expected to bring more than $52 million in economic impact to Central Florida during the 44th annual AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships beginning Thursday, June 15 at Orange County Convention Center and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
The twelve-day event has held the title of largest volleyball event in the world since 2012 when the 16U Club division set the current Guinness Book of World Records mark. It attracts an estimated 80,000 spectators, 9,000 coaches and 500 college coaches and takes place on 172 courts between ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Orange County Convention Center.
“We are excited to welcome nearly 120,000 people to Central Florida for the most esteemed event for AAU Volleyball athletes,” said Dr. Roger J. Goudy, President/CEO of the AAU. “The relationships we have built throughout Central Florida, including Visit Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort, make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all our athletes and their families.”
The marquee annual event for the fastest-growing sport in the AAU, the AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships features more than 2,400 teams across 33 divisions of competition, including an international division with teams from China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Germany and Slovenia.
In partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere, attendees will help pack 80,000 meals for underprivileged Orlando-area youth at Orange County Convention Center on June 16. For the first time this year, the AAU is partnering with The Side-Out Foundation to raise money for breast cancer research. All participants are encouraged to wear pink for AAU’s Dig Pink Day dates on June 17, 21 and 25 to show support for stage IV breast cancer patients.
"We are excited to welcome back to Orlando the AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships,” Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel said. “More than 75,000 athletes, spectators and coaches will experience our destination’s variety of hotels, diverse array of local attractions and abundant shopping options that make us a premier host city for sporting events. In addition, the economic impact to the Central Florida community is expected to be more than $50 million per year.”
Select championship games will air live on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN application from ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which has become the worldwide leader in ESPN3 content production. Additional games will be streamed live on Sports Network Live.
Visit www.aauvolleyball.org for more information.
Media interested in covering this event should contact Cody Norman, AAU Public Relations Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE AAU:
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest- non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 35 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. The second-largest sport in the AAU, volleyball had more than 120,000 members in 2015 with more than 300 licensed AAU indoor and beach volleyball events across the nation. For more information, visit www.aauvolleyball.org.
AAU Public Relations Manager