AYF Junior Athletic Games feature exceptional athletes, sportsmanship and camaraderie

The athletes of the AYF Junior Athletic Games representing 10 chapters

FRANKLIN, Mass. — Nearly a hundred young athletes from the east coast participated in the annual AYF-YOARF Junior Athletic Games (JAG) held at Camp Haiastan this past weekend.

The 2023 JAG was organized by this year’s Central Athletic Council (CAC) and hosted in collaboration with the Middlesex County West “Musa Ler” Chapter. 87 athletes signed up to compete this year.

The day began with rain and a meet and greet amongst the juniors, followed by an intense game of Name that Tune!, as younger and older groups competed indoors due to the weather with their chapters for points.

Athletes proudly displaying their chapter signs on the field

Athletes on the field held up their chapter signs before the track events began.

As the weather cleared, our juniors and seniors headed to the track for the opening ceremonies where athletes proudly represented their chapters, walking along the track to cheers from local parent supporters and AYFers.

Concession stands run by parents of the Middlesex County West “Musa Ler” Chapter were open all day. Participants representing 10 AYF chapters enjoyed the camaraderie and friendship shared by all throughout the competition. Serving as positive role models for the junior athletes, 28 AYF seniors volunteered their time as counselors, kitchen staff and race timers.

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After an exciting day of events, the athletes went 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 Middlesex County West “Musa Ler” Chapter.

The Saturday night dance was held at the lower camp pavilion with senior volunteers DJing with Armenian classics like the Tamzara, Haleh and Pampouri. CAC presented the chapters and athletes with awards for High Scorer, with the New Jersey “Arsen” Chapter named overall winner. Our gracious hosts, the Middlesex County West “Musa Ler” Chapter, were awarded the 2023 Sportsmanship Award for their kindness on and off the field.

High Scorers

Four athletes showed exceptional athleticism, placing in all three of their events, and were awarded with the High Scorer award.

High Scorers:

Younger Boys – Armen Azadian (New Jersey)
Older Girls – Cameron Santerian (Philidelphia)
Older Boys — Diego Asadoorian (Boston)
Younger Girls — Sevan Mikaelian (Worcester)

Middlesex County West “Musa Ler” Chapter receives the Chapter Sportsmanship Award

Chapter Sportsmanship Award: Middlesex County West “Musa Ler” Chapter

Final Chapter Standings:

New Jersey “Arsen”: 97 points
Philadelphia “Sebouh”: 95 points
Greater Boston “Nejdeh”: 63 points
Middlesex County West “Musa Ler”: 29 points
Worcester “Aram”: 27 points
Providence “Varantian”: 22 points
Washington DC “Ani”: 6 points
Manhattan “Moush”: 5 points
North Andover “Sassoun”: 0 points
New York “Hyortik”: 0 points

The winning New Jersey AYF “Arsen” Junior Chapter
Philadelphia AYF “Sebouh” Junior Chapter
Greater Boston AYF “Nejdeh” Junior Chapter

2023 Central Athletic Council members:

Daron Hamparian, Chair, Greater Boston “Nejdeh”
Gregory Cormier, Greater Boston “Nejdeh”
Knar Topouzian, Detroit “Kopernik Tandourjian”
Aren Dakessian, Manhattan “Moush”
Armen Surenian, Chicago “Ararat”
Juliette Ezgilioglu, New Jersey “Arsen”
Aram Najarian, Washington DC “Ani”
Lilit Kevorkian, New York “Hyortik”

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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