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All seven Hampton Roads cities will play part in 2006 AAU Junior Olympic Games

Staff Report

VIRGINIA BEACH – Hampton Roads will be hosting the 40th Annual AAU Junior Olympic Games over an 11-day period from July 26 through August 5, according to Local Organizing Committee (LOC) officials. The Games are the largest multi-sport youth event in the country.

The Hampton Roads Sports Commission notes that this is the third time the region has hosted the AAU Junior Olympic Games.

The first time was in 1998, when 11,135 athletes took part in the Games, and then again in 2001 when 13,282 athletes participated. This year, it is expected that over 15,000 athletes, boys and girls, ages 6-20, will compete in 26 sports throughout the seven major cities in Hampton Roads.

&uot;The Games are a great example of this region pulling together to host a major, national event,&uot; says Jack Ankerson, executive director of the Hampton Roads Sports Commission.

&uot;The spirit of cooperation is certainly reflected by the seven-locality representation on our LOC. This is a prestigious event, and it certainly fits our efforts to promote regionalism in Hampton Roads.&uot;

In addition, the impact is significant.

In 1998 and 2001, when the region hosted the AAU Junior Olympic Games, total economic impact topped $60 million. This year, once again, local hotels, restaurants, and a wide variety of other local merchants will benefit financially by Hampton Roads hosting this event.

&uot;The enthusiasm of our communities,&uot; continues Ankerson, &uot;the economic impact for the area and the pride we have as a region makes this a win-win situation for every one involved.&uot;

The mission of the Hampton Roads Sports Commission is to serve as a catalyst for facilitating and encouraging the development of amateur sports, events, activities and facilities in the fifteen (15) cities and counties that comprise Greater Hampton Roads region of Southeastern Virginia and as such, to serve as an economic development organization for the Hampton Roads area.

Since 1998 amateur sporting events have brought 100,000 athletes and their families to Hampton Roads with an economic impact of more than $85 million.