Training 2015 (54)The first IIAA games were organized by three people following their belief that the virtues of good sportsmanship, made meaningful in a competitive environment, would benefit the youth in children’s homes and residential treatment centers.  Over 40 years, those instincts have been validated by reports, researched and published by university-level educators.

Founding fathers Tom Newman, Father John Smyth and Ted Amlong, each working at different children’s homes in various parts of the State, formed the concept of what is today known as the Illinois Inter-Agency Athletic Association.   They recognized the environment of sport as an important socializing context and the power of teaching through recreation. Together they formed a network of agencies across the State seeking to provide opportunities for youths residing in residential treatment centers to compete and socialize together.

In 1979, through funding from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the IIAA was able to hire Tom Corr as its Executive Director.  Hiring an executive director provided the foundation for an expanded state-wide organization, now consisting of the Northern, Chicago, Western, Central, and Southern regions of Illinois.

Tom Corr retired December 31, 2015 after  37 years of dedicated service to the youth  throughout the state of Illinois.  Dave Dance was hired 1/1/2016 as the Director of the IIAA.