The AAU was founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in amateur sport. During its early years the AAU served as a leader in international sport representing the U.S. in the international sports federations. The AAU worked closely with the Olympic movement to prepare athletes for the Olympic games. After the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the AAU has focused its efforts into providing sports programs for all participants of all ages beginning at the grass roots level. The philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever,” is shared by over 500,000 participants and over 50,000 volunteers. The AAU is divided into 56 distinct Districts. These Districts annually sanction more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 30,000 age division events.