A new sporting event is coming to Myrtle Beach in 2010 that could draw 3,000 to 4,000 youth athletes and 6,000 to 12,000 spectators, officials from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amateur Athletic Union of the USA Inc. said Thursday.The four-day AAU East Coast Summer Sports Games will take place during the Memorial Day weekend and are open to children under the age of 18 to compete in boys' basketball, girls' basketball, tae kwon do, judo, wrestling, beach wrestling, golf, baseball and track and field, said Roy Edmondson, sports sales manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce."It's an event open to all, but we figure the draw will be along the East Coast, from Florida to Massachusetts, and as far out as Tennessee," he said.The chamber and AAU have worked on creating this event for the last six months, Edmondson said.AAU President Bobby Dodd declined to comment on the event because more details will be given during a news conference Wednesday in Myrtle Beach."I set out to bring out sporting events, so I'm looking for anything that impacts the community in a positive way," Edmondson said. "It's going to bring a lot of families into this area."Chamber officials discussed the issue of the Confederate battle flag on the Statehouse grounds, and it was not a problem for AAU, he said.The controversy has drawn much attention since the Atlantic Coast Conference withdrew a baseball tournament in July after disapproval from the state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.Edmondson said amateur and youth organizations "look to do what's best for their athletes" and don't necessarily get caught up in political affairs."They might not have the pressures that some other organizations may have. They want to do what's best for the participants," he said. "We make as good of a case as we can that Myrtle Beach is a location that would be best for their athletes."On Monday, chamber officials announced that USA Judo - the national governing body for judo that is responsible for the selection of the USA Olympic Teams - picked Myrtle Beach for its 2010 Senior National Championships.The event will be Nov. 6, 2010, and is expected to bring in 400 adult athletes. Contact MONIQUE NEWTON at 626-0310.
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