The annual AAU Wrestling tournament in Miller will be Sunday, Jan. 12 at the armory. The date changed this year to coincide with the high school tournament taking place on Saturday in town.
Approximately 130 AAU wrestlers plus support staff, family, friends, fans and spectators participate in an average tournament. The AAU Regional tournament was held in Miller in 2012. Andy Canham, club member, stated, “ It was estimated that over 2,000 people attended, and someone told me it was the fullest they had ever seen the armory.”
AAU wrestling has been a part of Miller Athletics since 1977. The first AAU Wrestling Club was started by Kenny Werdel, Dale Resel and Bob Taylor, all former wrestlers. AAU Wrestling is run and coached by volunteers and is completely separate from high school wrestling. Wrestlers may compete from newborn to sixth grade without restriction. After sixth grade, wrestlers must wait to compete until after their high school season ends. AAU wrestling does not have a season, as tournaments, camps, etc. happen year round.
The philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever” is shared by over 500,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers nationally. The districts’ annually license more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, over 30,000 age division events, and over 15,000 local, regional and national competitions.
AAU sponsors the AAU Junior Olympic Games, the AAU James E. Sullivan Memorial Award along with the AAU Complete Athlete Program. Two of the AAU’s flagship programs, which are administered for the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports are the President’s Challenge and the Presidential Sports Award.
Established in 1888, the AAU is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, sports organizations in the United States and is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports.
Today the AAU continues to operate on the basic principles by maintaining the mutual interests of its members while achieving and improving amateur sports.
The AAU has partnered with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to become the first national sports organization to require all its coaches to obtain PCA Double-Goal Coach® training and certification. PCA will provide training at no cost.
Some of the benefits to participation in AAU athletics is an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of former AAU athletes: Mark Spitz, Shaquille O’Neal, Keri Struggs, Chamique Holdsclaw, Greg Louganis, Ryan Klesko, Julianne Hough, Jackie Joyner Kersee, and many others.
The Miller club pays for the wrestlers’ membership fee to AAU, uniforms and fees to enter the tournaments. Membership in AAU includes insurance coverage, ability to participate at the world famous ESPN Wide World of Sports, travel, make new friends, and continue education.
The wrestling clubs’ fireworks stand fundraiser every July 4th is the source for these funds. Dale Resel, one of the club’s founders, states that “the club is more like a family, when there are things to be done all join forces to help get the job done.”
There are camps all over the state, thoughout the year. “The club also helps with some of the fees to these camps as well”, says club member Andy Canham. AAU is an organization long recognized for its position in amateur sports. The Miller Club started the season with 31 wrestlers, but as it is still early in the tournament schedule so it is not too late to start.