Update from the desk of AAU President Dr. Roger J. Goudy
Dear AAU Members:
Since 1888, the AAU’s motto has been “Sports For All, Forever.” For more than 130 years and counting, the AAU has strived to provide participation opportunities for all who wish to compete – no matter age, race, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status. Diversity and inclusion are the hallmarks of any successful AAU event. Now, more than ever, this is paramount as we work with our partners to combat racism and division in this country.
The feelings of pain and heartbreak being experienced right now across the country is unimaginable. Our hearts go out to all Black-Americans, as well as everyone, who faces systematic racism and injustice – the AAU emphatically supports the peaceful demonstrations being held across the country to combat acts of excessive violence and police brutality.
In recent years, we have created the AAU Urban Initiative aimed at providing events to youth who otherwise would not be able to play organized sports due to socio-economic or other hardships. Beginning in the Albany County area in 2015 and quickly moving into the New York City-area, the program continued to expand with the Starlings Volleyball program (whose mission is to positively impact the lives of at risk youth through volleyball). In January 2020, the AAU partnered with the Pullman Community Center to bring increased event opportunities to the historic Pullman neighborhood of Chicago, IL. Last month, the AAU worked with our partners at Ready nutrition to donate protein water and meal bars to Ashtabula, Ohio Area schools in an effort to support the district’s free lunch distribution program during the coronavirus pandemic.
Moving forward, we need to come together one event, one sport, one team, and one athlete at a time. The AAU and our partners will continue to provide the very best possible event experience for all who wish to attend AAU events now and in the future. Through our united efforts we can continue to foster inclusion, diversity and a safe environment for all who play AAU sports. To AAU members across the United States, we wish you continued safety and well-being during this time.
Stay safe, be well, and remember, We Are AAU.
Dr. Roger J. Goudy
President & CEO, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)