Homenetmen’s 33rd KAHAM Games Comes to a Close

Official opening of the 42nd Navasartian Athletic Games took place on March 19, 2017

ENCINO, Calif.—Each year, the Homenetmen Regional Athletic Council organizes the California Armenian Student Athletic Games (KAHAM), which run from November through March and entail a variety of athletic competitions, including basketball, soccer, ping-pong, volleyball, track and field, and chess. The primary aim of these games is to create a healthy competitive atmosphere among Armenian school students while familiarizing them with Homenetmen and its mission.

After months of competitions, Homenetmen’s 33rd KAHAM Games came to a close on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. on the field of Birmingham High School with the presence of countless spectators. At the same time, the official opening of the 42nd Navasartian Athletic Games was held whereby well-known Homenetmen members Mr. & Mrs. Vicken and Nono Apelian were presented as this year’s Honorary Presidents.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by Homenetmen members Taline Apanian and Moushegh Bedevian, who also announced the official guests in attendance. They included Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian representing His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian; Homenetmen Central Executive members Vicken Tavitian and Antranig Baharian; ARF Central Committee and Homenetmen member Garo Ispendjian; previous Honorary Presidents Mr. & Mrs. Sarkis and Suzanne Kitsinian and George Jamgotchian; representatives from sister organizations; principals of KAHAM participating schools; teachers, parents, Homenetmen members and supporters.

After a brief presentation of Homenetmen’s history, spectators were invited to observe a moment of silence in memory of the 1.5 million canonized victims of the Armenian Genocide. The program’s official start began with a flag ceremony led by Homenetmen Sipan Chapter Scoutmaster Dalar Galestian. Ari-Arenoush scouts presented the American, Armenian, Artsakh, California, and Homenetmen flags and the Homenetmen marching band played the American, Armenian and Homenetmen anthems, thereafter.

Archpriest Fr. Vazken Atmajian of the Glendale St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church conveyed well-wishes and the blessings of Archbishop Mardirossian. Guests were then invited to join in prayer and Archpriest Fr. Atmajian concluded his remarks by congratulating participants of the KAHAM Games and extending wishes of continued success.

Principal of Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School, Ms. Sanan Shirinian, delivered remarks on behalf of the KAHAM participating school principals and extended appreciation to parents, who have entrusted their children to attend Armenian schools and organizations. “For as long as we live as Armenians, Homenetmen and our Armenian schools will live inside us because this is where we educate and build youth with noble and strong characters,” asserted Shirinian.

Aram Thomas, Regional Executive liaison to the Regional Athletic Council, delivered the Board’s message and stated, “Along with our local Armenian schools, Homenetmen has successfully organized the KAHAM Games for the past 33 years. This tradition allows Armenian school students the opportunity to engage in a healthy and competitive environment in a variety of athletic sports. The victories that we celebrate today are the result of the commendable efforts demonstrated by student athletes and teams. We believe we will only continue to succeed by adhering to our ‘Elevate Yourself and Others With You’ motto.” Thomas extended sincere thanks to coaches, judges and particularly the parents, who dedicated their time and demonstrated encouragement and enthusiasm during these games. He also highly recognized every educational establishment, school, principal and teaching staff, who plays such a vital role in preserving the Armenian identity and affirmed that Homenetmen stands in solidarity with them.

Thereafter, Homenetmen Regional Executive Chairperson Manuel Marselian invited Honorary Presidents of the 42nd Navasartian Games Mr. & Mrs. Vicken and Nono Apelian to perform the official opening of the Navasartian Games. The Navasartian logo was raised and Mr. Vicken Apelian announced the Navasartian Games as being official started among applause from spectators.

The much-anticipated march of schools then commenced with principals leading their respective student athletes, who displayed banners bearing their school names. The following schools marched onto the field: Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School, Ari Guiragos Armenian School, Armenian Sisters Academy, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian, Mesrobian, Merdinian, Chamlian, Sahag Mesrob, and Holy Martyrs Ferrahian. Spectators gave a warm welcome to the students marching on the field and, after they took their places, trophies were presented to schools for different athletic categories. First place teams accepted their trophies with encouragement from supporters.

During this process, Chairperson Marselian also presented a plaque to each principal of the participating schools for their participation in the 33rd KAHAM Games and support of their student athletes in these athletic games.

Prior to the official close of the program, Varant Avanessian of Homenetmen’s Youth Division gave a brief overview of the division and entertained those in attendance with a number of songs. The program ended at 5:30 p.m. in a joyful atmosphere, which was sure to leave long-lasting memories among students, coaching staff, parents, Homenetmen members, and supporters.

Below is a listing of the overall rankings among schools. A comprehensive list of results can be found at www.homenetmen.net

Basketball

  1. Chamlian Armenian School
  2. Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School
  3. Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School

Soccer

  1. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School
  2. Chamlian Armenian School
  3. Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School and Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School

Volleyball

  1. Chamlian Armenian School
  2. Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School and Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School
  3. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School

Track and Field

  1. Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School
  2. Chamlian Armenian School
  3. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School

Ping-Pong

  1. Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School
  2. Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School
  3. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School

Chess

  1. Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School
  2. Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School and Chamlian Armenian School
  3. AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School

Spirit Trophy: Holy Martyrs Ferrahian Armenian School

Sportsmanship Trophy: Armenian Sisters Academy

Achievement Trophy: Mesrobian Armenian School

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