Both Triumph and Tragedy Leave Their Mark on the Weekend
By Sylvahna Menissian
The Providence Homenetmen chapter hosted the 27th Annual Homenetmen Eastern United States Navasartian Games on the Fourth of July weekend (July 1-4) with a fully booked hotel, sold-out dances, and over 450 competing athletes.
Athletes from all over the Eastern United States came to participate in basketball, volleyball, tennis, track, swimming, and soccer events. The games kicked off on July 1 at East Greenwich High School and Archie Cole Middle School. The games continued through July 3, with spectators packing the stands.
Winners of the 27th Annual Eastern Homenetmen United States Navasartian Games Events
- Senior Women’s Volleyball: New Jersey
- Senior Men’s Volleyball: Washington DC
- Senior Women’s Basketball: Providence
- Senior Men’s Basketball Mark Alashaian Trophy: New York
- Junior Boys Basketball: Chicago
- Midget Basketball: New Jersey
- Pee-Wee Basketball: Boston
- Pee-Wee Soccer: New York
- Midget Soccer: Boston
- Senior Men’s Soccer: Florida
- Swimming: Boston
- Track and Field: Providence
- Tennis: Providence
- Sportsmanship: Albany
- Most Improved Chapter: Merrimack Valley (First time participating, and they won their first-ever Navasartian game, Sr. Men’s basketball)
Total Team Points
- Boston: 49
- Providence: 29
- New York: 23
- Washington D.C.: 20
- New Jersey: 19
- Chicago: 17
- Detroit: 14
- Albany: 10
- Florida: 7
- Philadelphia: 0
- Merrimack Valley: 0
The Providence community was thrilled to have so many of its own athletes competing throughout the weekend. Although Providence finished in second place overall, Providence athletes walked away with medals in almost every sporting event. The host’s Senior Women’s basketball team even won first place, beating Boston in the final game.
The Providence Homenetmen also hosted two successful dances over the weekend. On Sunday night, Kevork Artinian performed at the Providence Biltmore with a crowd of over 400 people. The Victory Gala Dinner Dance took place on Monday night, with an overwhelming crowd of 780 people at the Rhode Island Convention Center as Elie Berberian performed.
On July 4, the Navasartian Games closing ceremonies took place at Conley Stadium. Prelate Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, honored guests, scouts, athletes, and coaches marched into the stadium to properly close out the weekend. Aram Garabedian of Providence Rhode Island was awarded the title of King of the Games by the Providence community for his hard work.
Srpazan Choloyan addressed the athletes traveling to Armenia for the Pan-Homenetmen Games and imparted an important message: “Keep in mind that you are stepping on your ancestral land. The diaspora’s youth are connected to the homeland, and when you visit the sites, don’t just take photos, but think about the message behind each site, and the sacrifices of our forefathers. Keep it close to your hearts and come back with renewed vigor to serve your communities.” The participants found his message to be fitting, since Aram I Catholicos has declared this year the Year of Renewal.
At the beginning of the Navasartian Games, the worldwide Homenetmen family suffered a major loss. During the first game of the weekend, yeghpayr Mark Alashaian suddenly passed away. In his honor, every athlete wore a black wristband for the duration of the weekend, and the remaining days of games were opened with a prayer and moment of silence. In addition, for the next five years, the senior men’s basketball trophy will be called the Mark Alashaian Trophy.
This weekend wouldn’t have been possible without our dedicated steering committee, community, volunteers, athletes, and supporters.