North Andover “Sassoun” Chapter hosts 2022 Junior Athletic Games

AYF juniors and senior participants and volunteers at the 2022 Junior Athletic Games, Franklin, Mass.

FRANKLIN, Mass. Dozens of young athletes from the mid-Atlantic region to New England participated in the annual AYF-YOARF Junior Athletic Games (JAG) held at Camp Haiastan this past weekend. 

The 2022 JAG was organized by this year’s Central Athletic Council (CAC) and hosted in collaboration with the North Andover “Sassoun” Chapter. Eighty-seven athletes signed up to compete this year.

Senior members helping with breakfast made by the North Andover “Sassoun” Chapter families

AYF Juniors and Seniors arrived at AYF Camp Haiastan in Franklin, Mass. on Friday evening. On Saturday morning, flag raising was held, followed by an oath ceremony for five new AYF members. 

Five new AYF members were sworn in on Saturday morning. Pictured from left to right: Natalie Amirian (Philadelphia), Alena Sinton Edgarian (Philadelphia), Nina Sinton Edgarian (Philadelphia), Cameron Santerian (Philadelphia) and Talia Croy (Philadelphia)

The weekend of games began in the pool at Milford High School on Saturday. Juniors and Seniors were then shuttled to Medway Middle School for the track and field events. 

Older boys swimming

Concession stands run by parents of the North Andover “Sassoun” Chapter were open all day. Participants representing eleven AYF chapters enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship shared by all throughout the competition. Over 20 AYF Seniors volunteered their time as counselors, kitchen staff and race timers. All served as positive role models for the Junior athletes. 

Younger boys running events

After an exciting day of events, the athletes headed back to AYF Camp Haiastan to get ready for a night filled with food, award ceremonies and music. The evening began with a fantastic chicken, pilaf and fasoulya dinner prepared by the host North Andover “Sassoun” Chapter.

Following dinner, the Juniors and Seniors gathered around the Cabin Circle to lower the flags of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh that had been raised on Saturday morning. Following this ceremony, the AYF members held a moment of silence in memory of the servicemen and women who were killed during Azerbaijan’s recent attacks on Armenia.

The Saturday night dance was held at Dikran Tzamhour Hall and featured performances by Datev Gevorkian on the oud, Alek Surenian on the dumbeg and Daron Pogharian on vocals. 

The evening ended with AYF members singing Armenian revolutionary songs all the way back down to the Cabin Circle. 

The following results were announced at the dance. 

High Scorers:

Younger Boys – Jack Kevorkian (Middlesex County West) 15 points
Younger Girls – Sevan Mikaelian (Worcester) 11 points
Older Boys – Alex Dardarian (Philadelphia) 15 points
Older Boys – Matt Janian (North Andover) 15 points
Older Girls – Karine Najarian (Washington DC) 15 points
Older Girls – Nora Vartanian (Greater Boston) 15 points

Older girls track and field medalists

Chapter Sportsmanship Award: Worcester “Aram” Chapter

Final Chapter Standings:

Boston: 107 points
New Jersey: 92 points
Philadelphia: 66 points
Middlesex County West: 47 points
Worcester: 38 points
North Andover: 32 points
Washington, DC: 15 points
Providence: 13 points
Detroit: 6 points
New York: 1 points
Manhattan: 0 points 

Older boys track and field medalists

2022 Central Athletic Council members:

Daron Hamparian, Chair, Greater Boston “Nejdeh” Chapter
Aren Dakessian, Manhattan “Moush” Chapter
Anoush Krafian, Greater Boston “Nejdeh” Chapter
Greg Cormier, Greater Boston “Nejdeh” Chapter
Haig Sarajian, Washington, DC “Ani” Chapter
Knar Topouzian, Detroit “Kopernik Tandourjian” Chapter
Armen Surenian, Chicago “Ararat” Chapter

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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.
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