YEREVAN—The opening ceremonies of the 8th Pan-Homenetmen Games took place Saturday at Republic Square, with a parade of athletes. After the official opening and presentations, local entertainment and dance groups entertained the crowds.
On July 31 a press conference was held at the Marriott Hotel. Speaking on behalf of the organization was Homenetmen Central Executive member Mihran Shimishirian, Organizing committee Chairperson Manuel Marselian and Homenetmen HASK Chairperson Hratch Shmavonyan. Numerous media outlets were present at the press conference.
Opening remarks were made by Hratch Shmavonyan who welcomed all those present. He then related that in its 91 years of existence this would the first time that the Pan Homenetmen Games would be held in the Republic of Armenia. The prior seven Pan Homenetmen Games have been held in the various different countries of the Diaspora. This year’s tournament will include 5 different athletic events: soccer, basketball, table tennis, swimming and chess. Shmavonyan noted that 450 athletes, coaches, and representatives are expected to arrive in the Republic of Armenia specifically to participate in these games.
Shmavonyan further thanked all the individuals, especially the Armenian Football Federation, for aiding with the technical specifications in organizing these games. He also added that the Armenian Olympic Committee’s chair Gagik Dzaroukyan has presented Homenetmen with a special trophy which will be handed to the region which is the overall winner of the tournament.
Homenetmen’s Central Executive Committee member, Mihran Shimshirian, spoke about the founding and mission of Homenetmen, Homenetmen –Hask’s creation within the Republic of Armenia, and about Homenetmen’s participation in the International Scout Movement. He noted that Homenetmen has over 100 chapters and 25,000 members throughout the world. Shimshirian stressed the importance of the 8th Pan Homenetmen Games being held in the Republic of Armenia, especially for the younger generations, who are given the opportunity to visit their homeland and participate in these important games.
Manuel Marselian, Chairperson of the 8th Pan Homenetmen Games Organizing Committee commented that alongside the athletes’ participation in the games, they will also partake in an educational seminar, after which the participants will visit the “Dzidzernagapert” Genocide Memorial to pay their respects to the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. The athletes will also be given the opportunity to visit Lake Sevan. Finally, Marselian noted that the participants of the Games include only those that are members of Homenetmen, an amateur athletic and scouting organization.