AYF’s ‘Pyunik’ Basketball Program is Back!

_Pyunik_ Photo
AYF members and volunteers huddle with players during practice

AYF members and volunteers huddle with players during practice

CANOGA PARK, California—On November 8th, the Armenian Youth Federation San Fernando Valley “Sardarabad” Chapter in conjunction with the San Fernando Valley Homenetmen “Massis” Chapter and the Armenian Autism Outreach Project began the third season of its newly named “Pyunik” Basketball Program, which serves athletes with special needs. Following a thorough training tutorial to the volunteers on how to handle athletes with special needs the day before, the volunteers were enthusiastic to see some familiar faces that they had been used to seeing for the past two years and also some new ones.

During the extended summer break of the program, the AYF “Sardarabad” Chapter took the necessary steps in order to ensure a bright and stable future for the program. Some of these steps included teaming up with the local Homenetmen “Massis” Chapter and establishing a new strategy of recruitment for volunteers. “We now feel like we have tremendous support from the community and have the necessary tools and resources to take this program to new limits,” said Koko Abounayan, an AYF “Sardarabad” member and volunteer.

For the past two years, the “Pyunik” Basketball program has created a safe space where children with special needs can experience the excitement of the game. In addition, the program has created a bond in our community with families that otherwise feel secluded. “The Homenetmen ‘Massis’ Chapter is very excited to be working with the AYF ‘Sardarabad’ for this program because we feel like it has a very positive affect on the community and we love to see our youth active,” said Ara Tepelekian, Homenetmen Massis Chairperson.

With its third season under way, the chapter is excited to expand the program to provide all Armenians with special needs the opportunity to participate.

For more information please email the chapter at sardarabad@ayfwest.org or call 818-439-9532.

Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the United States, working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian-American youth.


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