Fourteen thousand athletes from across United States to compete in Des Moines July 24 through August 4

Later this month, 14,000 athletes from across the United States will descend on Des Moines for the 2018 AAU Junior Olympic Games. The games, which run July 25 to August 4, will bring in an additional 40,000 visitors to Central Iowa, creating an economic impact that is expected to exceed $27 million.

For an event this large, Catch Des Moines is in great need of volunteers.

“Our goal is to have volunteers fill nearly 1,500 shifts to help with the success of the Games,” said Laura Briggs, Director of Destination Services at Catch Des Moines. “Volunteers are an integral part of creating the best experience for our athletes, officials and visitors. Our excellent volunteers are a major reason the AAU will be hosting their sixth Junior Olympic Games in Des Moines at the end of July.”

Volunteers are needed in the areas of registration, sports, hospitality and awards. Each volunteer will receive a credential to the AAU Junior Olympic Games and a t-shirt. Hours can also be recorded for the Silver Cord Program, if applicable.

Over 11 days, the Games include competition in 15 sports: track and field, jump rope, wrestling, girls wrestling, swimming, field hockey, trampoline and tumbling, baton twirling, taekwondo, karate, pickleball, powerlifting, weightlifting, sport stacking and multi-events. A full schedule is available HERE. Most events will take place at Drake University’s Drake Stadium and the Iowa Events Center. The swim competition will take place downtown at the Wellmark YMCA and field hockey will be played on Dr. Christine H.B. Grant Field in Iowa City.

Tickets for the 52nd annual AAU Junior Olympic Games can be purchased on-site at all competition venues from July 25 through August 4. Spectators may purchase a $45 passport for the event, which includes admission to all competition venues throughout the duration of the Games. Daily passes are available for $15. Children 6-years-old or younger receive free admission to the events.

Visit for ticket details, volunteer information, hotels and more.