The age categories range from Tiny Tots (ages six and under) to Collegiate. Over $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded during the five-day event.
This year’s competition marks the 35th consecutive year this competition has been hosted in South Bend on the Notre Dame campus. From 1966 – 1969, A.Y.O.P. was held at the University of Mississippi and Syracuse University. Don Sartell, A.Y.O.P. founder, director and producer, heard about a new arena that was built on the Notre Dame campus. The Joyce Center’s spacious facilities and its central location would make an ideal home for this annual event. Prior to the establishment of A.Y.O.P. there were 47 separate championship events each summer. Sartell believed that a national weeklong event incorporating all of those separate championships would make it easier for more young men and women to participate.
“Local residents may not be aware that A.Y.O.P. is one of the most important events held in our community every year, ” said Carolyne Wallace, director of sales and convention services for the South Bend/Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Over the past 35 years, A.Y.O.P. visitors have spent literally millions of dollars in South Bend and Mishawaka. Other than Notre Dame home football games, few events have held a more significant economic impact on our community.”
The Monogram Room at the Joyce Center will serve as the event headquarters and is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. A daily schedule of events will be posted there.