AYF New Jersey “Arsen” Chapter wins 2021 Junior Athletic Games

By 2021 Central Athletic Council 

The AYF-YOARF Mid-Atlantic and New England Junior Athletic Games (JAG) made its comeback over the weekend after a two year hiatus. What is traditionally an annual event for AYF juniors, the games were cancelled in 2019 due to EEE and again in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s Central Athletic Council (CAC) was determined to make the highly anticipated return of the Junior Athletic Games a weekend to remember. 

AYF juniors and seniors arrived at Camp Haiastan in Franklin, Mass. on Friday evening. The games began early Saturday morning at the Milford High School community pool. Juniors and seniors were then shuttled to East Greenwich High School for the opening ceremonies and track and field events. 

Boys at the swimming pool, JAG 2021

Concession stands were open all day. Participants representing nine AYF chapters enjoyed walking in the opening ceremonies. A total of 57 athletes had signed up to compete this year. 

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An electric night filled with music and dance awaited athletes back at Camp Haiastan following the games. The evening began with a fantastic chicken and pilaf dinner prepared by the host Worcester “Aram” Chapter. Following dinner, the juniors and seniors gathered under the pavilion for the Saturday night dance featuring performances by Datev Gevorkian on the oud and Alek Surenian on the dumbeg.

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The following results were announced at the dance. 

High Scorers:

Younger Boys – Matt Janian (North Andover) 15 points
Younger Boys – Zareh Mikaelian (Worcester) 15 points
Younger Girls – Maral Kouchakdjian (Middlesex County West) 15 points
Older Boys – Sebu Najarian (Greater Boston) 15 points
Older Boys – Alex Agabap (New Jersey) 15 points
Older Girls – Arabella English (New Jersey) 10 points
Older Girls – Zabella Aslanian (New Jersey) 10 points

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Chapter Sportsmanship Award: Worcester “Aram” Chapter

Final Chapter Standings:

New Jersey: 104 points
Boston: 58 points
Worcester: 41 points
Providence: 33 points
Middlesex County West: 29 points
North Andover: 28 points
Philadelphia: 20 points

Washington, DC: 19 points
New York: 5 points

The weekend was organized by the CAC and hosted in collaboration with the Worcester “Aram” Chapter. The Worcester parents and alumni were a huge help in the planning of the breakfast and dinner, as well as setting up and running the concession stand throughout the day.

Over 20 senior members signed up, volunteering their time to attend the event as counselors, kitchen staff, race timers and positive role models for the junior athletes. Senior members and alumni from the Providence Chapter helped prepare the track and field for the events.

The CAC would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s JAG. The weekend was a great success! We hope to see you again next year!

2021 Central Athletic Council members:

Hagop Taraksian, Chair, Providence “Varantian” Chapter
Aren Dakessian, Manhattan “Moush” Chapter
Daron Hamparian, Greater Boston “Nejdeh” Chapter
Ema Bandazian, New Jersey “Arsen” Chapter
Haig Sarajian, Washington DC “Ani” Chapter
Knar Topouzian, Detroit “Kopernik Tandourjian” Chapter
Masis Mardirosyan, Philadelphia “Sebouh” Chapter

Pictured left to right: Aren Dakessian, CAC chairman Hagop Taraksian, Haig Sarajian, Daron Hamparian, Ema Bandazian
Founded in 1933, The Armenian Youth Federation is an international, non-profit, youth organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). The AYF-YOARF Eastern United States stands on five pillars that guide its central activities and initiatives: Educational, Hai Tahd, Social, Athletic and Cultural. The AYF also promotes a fraternal attitude of respect for ideas and individuals amongst its membership. Unity and cooperation are essential traits that allow members of the organization to work together to realize the AYF’s objectives.


AYF-YOARF | ՀԵԴ Armenian Youth Federation - Eastern Region USA Հայ Երիտասարդաց Դաշնակցութիւն - ԱՄՆ Արեւելեան Շրջան
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