The man who gave many young Bloomington athletes opportunities to compete has left us.
Arnie Johnson, who founded the Bloomington Athletic Association in 1953, passed away October 6 at the age of 92.
Though he wasn't involved with high school sports, he organized many activities for Bloomington youngsters to be involved with. Sixty years after founding the nation''s largest all volunteer youth sports organization, the BAA offers 12 sports for young athletes. Many have gone on to play for the varsity teams at Jefferson, Kennedy, Lincoln and Bloomington high schools.
Take a look at the Bloomington Sun when it came out on Thursdays and you saw standings as well as results of the organization's sports such as basketball and baseball.
In addition to the BAA, Johnson also formed an organization for senior athletes called Born Again Jocks. He started BAJ in 1984 to give men 55 and older the opportunity to compete in activities such as bowling, volleyball and tennis.
Johnson's legacy lives on. The warming house at the Valley View Playfield is named for him. The BAA is still going strong and the launching pad for future Jefferson and Kennedy athletes.