Everyone knows the AAU is a great way to get involved in youth sports and grow as an athlete, but what most of our members don’t know is how AAU gives others a chance to get involved in sports behind the scenes. Recently, the AAU found out that two of our former volleyball members have become involved with AAU in another way.
This year, Christiana Gray and Jenna Bachmeyer will be hosting the event for their fellow volleyball members. Gray is one of the Event Management interns for ESPN Wide World of Sports, where the tournament will be held, and will be assisting with the planning and the execution of the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championship. Bachmeyer’s title is the Event Manager for the Orange County Convention Center, another location for the tournament. Both played volleyball growing up, specifically choosing AAU because of the competition.
While Bachmeyer knew she always wanted to be a part of sports after she was done playing, Gray said she didn’t plan on working in sports until she heard of the internship program with ESPN Wide World of Sports. Learning that she could plan something that she was once involved in as a teenager appealed to her and she instantly jumped at the opportunity. Bachmeyer said that although she always knew she wanted to be involved in sports, she didn’t know what she wanted to do or how to get started, but her position with the Orange County Convention Center has given her a variety of sports to manage and helped narrow her decision.
Both women agree that working at the tournament now is exciting because it’s a whole new perspective for them. Bachmeyer said she is looking forward to being on the planning side rather than the playing side and Gray backs that up, saying, “I’m most excited about being a part of the team that makes the magic happen. As a player, all you do is walk into the gym and it appears effortless. For me, I can’t wait to see both ESPN Wide World of Sports and the Orange County Convention Center transform from the ground up.”
Though they are both excited about their new opportunities and perspectives, nostalgia kicked in when they were asked what their favorite memories were while playing with AAU. Gray said her favorite memory from her AAU days was winning this same tournament the last year she played, but Bachmeyer said the camaraderie is what she’ll always remember.
“I loved the team I was a part of,” Bachmeyer said. “We had to spend so much time together so we really built a strong bond. Playing in AAU gave me friends for life that I know I will never lose touch with, whether they were on my team or another team. The competition and camaraderie was balanced beautifully!”
Good luck ladies and we can’t wait to see what you pull together for the 2013 AAU Girls’ Junior Nationals Volleyball Championship!
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