Los Angeles Daily News
April 30 2005

Navasartian Games opening



By Alex Dobuzinskis, Staff Writer

A torch run and ceremony will mark the start Sunday of the 30th
annual Navasartian Games, an Olympic-style event for
Armenian-American athletes that is expected to draw thousands of
participants and spectators.
The nonprofit Armenian General Athletic Union and Scouts -- referred
to as Homenetmen Western U.S. Region -- is organizing the games,
which will include basketball, soccer, tennis, track and field,
volleyball, swimming, and even table tennis and chess.

Homenetmen Western U.S. Region's nearly 20 chapters will compete
against each other, with winning athletes and teams receiving
trophies and medals.

"Since we have these games every year everyone wants to beat the
other chapter and have the bragging rights," said Nyree Derderian, a
member of the athletic council.

About 4,000 athletes are expected to participate in the games, with
teams coming from as far away as Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, said
Sevag Garabetien, program coordinator.

Games will be played at locations in Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Van
Nuys and nearby areas.

The games will begin Sunday in Glendale with a torch run that will
start at 4 p.m. at St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church, 500 S.
Central Ave. Runners will carry the torch to Verdugo Park where it
will be used during opening ceremonies.

While most of the competing athletes will be teenagers, there will be
some adult-division competitions.

"I'm 28 years old and I still run around and try to shoot hoops, and
it is a big deal for me," said Artin Avanessian of Glendale. "You
play until your legs give out or the 18-year-olds start pushing you
around."

The games will end at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys on July 4
with a festival featuring Armenian entertainment and food.