Many thousands turn out for Navasartian games and festival
Published: Wednesday July 11, 2012
Van Nuys, Calif. - The 37th Annual Navasartian Games and Festival, organized by the Western USA chapter of the Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts - "Homenetmen", in Armenian - ran through July 7 at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys.
The event brings together 2400 athletes, 1000 scouts, and over 35,000 spectators throughout the tournament and festival in the largest Armenian sporting event outside of Armenia and one of the most important events for the Armenian community of the western United States.
The Games, which began in East Los Angeles in in 1975, has 260 teams competing in basketball, soccer, volleyball, track & field, tennis, swimming, chess, and table tennis. The teams represent 18 chapters of Homenetmen, hailing from throughout southern, central, and northern California, Arizona, and Nevada.
The closing ceremony will feature delegations from each Homenetmen chapter, consisting of athletes and scouts, who will march around the stadium in their uniforms. Joining the athletes and scouts will be Armenian-American veterans of the Iraq War who will be honored for their military service.
In attendance will be a number of dignitaries, including the Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian; the Consul General of Armenia Grigor Hovhannissian; Congressmen Howard Berman and Brad Sherman; members of the Los Angeles City Council, including Paul Krekorian and Dennis Zine, among other L.A. City officials.
Following the ceremony will be a display of fireworks, leading to a night of celebration at the Festival with musical performances and dancing.
The Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts, referred to as Homenetmen, is a 501 (C)3 non-profit organization with 28,000 members in five continents. Homenetmen was founded in 1918, and currently has 18 chapters with over 6,800 members and growing in the Western Region. It is the largest Armenian athletic and scouting organization in the United States.
For more information about the Navasartian Games and Homenetmen, you may visit www.navasartiangames.com.