Katcho and Araxi Achadjian Announced as Navasartian Honorary Presidents

Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian on the right and his wife with Homenetmen Regional Chairperson Manuel Marselian present at the closing ceremonies.

Homenetmen Kaham Games Closing Ceremony Ushers in 41st Navasartian Games

VAN NUYS—After months of competitive athletic games between students, Sunday, March 13, saw the close of the Homenetmen KAHAM Games at Birmingham High School, while hundreds of spectators were in attendance. Although the KAHAM Games came to its official close, at the same time, the opening ceremonies of Homenetmen’s 41st Annual Navasartian Games were held. California State Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian and his wife, Araxi, were announced as this year’s Honorary Presidents.

The Masters of Ceremonies were Homenetmen members Taline Apanian and Moushegh Bedhoian, who first invited guests to observe a moment of silence in memory of the 1.5 million victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Thereafter, welcoming remarks were delivered and the official guests were announced, including Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian representing His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian; Homenetmen Central Executive member Vicken Tavitian; ARF Central Committee member Garo Ispenjian; ARS Regional Executive Board member Nanik Kupelian; Board of Regents of Prelacy Armenian School members Armine Papazian and Hasmig Baran; Honorary Presidents Mr. & Mrs. Katcho and Araxi Achadjian; previous honorary presidents of the Navasartian Games, including Mr. & Mrs. Sarkis and Susan Kitsinian and Mr. George Jamgotchian; as well as principals of participating Armenian schools, teachers, parents, vast supporters, and Homenetmen members.

After presenting a brief history of the Homenetmen Western Region, the flag ceremony and its accompanying march commenced by the Burbank “Sipan” Chapter scouts. The Homenetmen marching band then played the American, Armenian, and Homenetmen anthems.

Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian of the St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church conveyed Archbishop Mardirossian’s blessings and invited attendees to join him in prayer. He commended the participants of the KAHAM Games, extending wishes of continued success.

Thereafter, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School Principal Arpi Avanesian delivered remarks on behalf of all principals of the schools that participated in this year’s KAHAM Games. Stressing the importance of sports and athleticism, she extended thanks and appreciation to parents, who have entrusted their children to Armenian schools and organizations. Avanesian extended wishes for longevity of the KAHAM Games as it continues to pursue athletic goals. In closing, she addressed her remarks to the student athletes, indicating that they are the future generation of school teachers, coaches, principals, leaders, and parents. While the youth will grow and mature into young adults attending college, she affirmed her confidence that they will return to Armenian schools and centers to continue the activities of the current generation.

The Homenetmen Regional Executive’s message was delivered by Board Member Maro Kechichian, who extended particular thanks to the many coaches, who with great care, oversee the teams participating in the KAHAM Games, while at the same time familiarizing the student athletes with Homenetmen.

Kechichian explained that while the student athletes participated in lengthy weeks of games in various sports, the vital aspect is to encourage the spirit of participation rather than that of winning or losing. In conclusion, she stated “May these games strengthen within our students the will to remain Armenian and united, in an effort to strengthen ourselves and our people.”

Following the Regional Executive’s remarks, Homenetmen Regional Chairperson Manuel Marselian introduced the 41st Navasartian Games Honorary Presidents Mr. & Mrs. Katcho and Araxi Achadjian. He expressed appreciation that the couple, as former Homenetmen members, has returned to stand in solidarity with the organization and fulfill their responsibilities as honorary presidents. Marselian explained that Katcho Achadjian is a California State Assemblymember, who is also a candidate for the 24th Congressional District of California, and his wife, Araxi, has always stood in solid support of him and his career. When invited to deliver their remarks, Assemblymember Achadjian expressed his pride to be part of such an undertaking and Mrs. Achadjian conveyed appreciation to schools, parents, and Homenetmen for organizing such athletic programs for the youth.

After their message, Assemblymember Achadjian officially announced the opening of the 41st Annual Navasartian Games, which was followed by the presentation of the Navasartian Games’ new logo.

The march of the student athletes then commenced, while led by their respective school principals. An athletic team of students attending public schools, sponsored by the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter, as well as the Ferrahian Varsity Girls basketball team, who are this year’s CIF Division 5A Champions, also participated in the march. Each school’s victories throughout various divisions were announced.

Entertainment was then provided by singer Tigran Asatryan, who livened the atmosphere through various songs.

The program concluded with schools receiving their trophies from Homenetmen Central Executive member Vicken Tavitian, Regional Executive Chairperson Manuel Marselian, Honorary Presidents Mr. & Mrs. Achadjian, and the respective school principals. Athletes proudly accepted their trophies in sports including basketball, soccer, volleyball, chess, ping-pong, and track and field.

Below is a listing of the overall rankings:

Chess
1. Rose and Alex Pilibos and Ferrahian Armenian Schools
2. Armenian Sisters Academy
3. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School

Track and Field
1. Ferrahian Armenian School
2. Chamlian Armenian School
3. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School
Ping-Pong
1. Ferrahian Armenian School
2. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School
3. Mesrobian Armenian School

Volleyball
1. Ferrahian Armenian School
2. Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School
3. Chamlian Armenian School

Soccer
1. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School
2. Chamlian Armenian School
3. Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School

Basketball
1. Chamlian Armenian School
2. Ferrahian Armenian School
3. Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School

This year, the Regional Athletic Council also decided to award schools in the areas of sportsmanship, achievement, and spirit. These awards were presented by Mr. & Mrs. Varant and Hoori Melkonian and Mr. Bedig Fermanian, while accompanied by Chairperson Marselian. Below is a listing of the schools in these categories:

Spirit Trophy: Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School
Sportsmanship Trophy: Armenian Sisters Academy
Achievement Trophy: Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School

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