Saturday, April 14

Basketball tournament against hiv

- The tournament is a mix of info and fun, says the youth leader in Tavush, David Asilbekyan (21). Together with the local Red Cross Youth he has initiated a basketball tournament against hiv/aids for pupils in Ijevan.

Five schools were participating with their own boy team from 8th and 9th grade. During two days they played against each other with classmates and teachers as eager audience. On the walls were big posters with information about hiv-transmission and transmission numbers. There where hundreds of leaflets about condoms, hiv and aids on a table outside.

In an old sports hall without tribunes there where little space, and both trainers and pupils were screaming and cheering for their school teams. The boys from school number 3 impressed from the very beginning, and beat school number 1 with 14 points versus 0.
Before the finals, 14 year old Artsrun Shahinyan from school number 3 thought his team would win the whole tournament. And he was right! His team won all their games, and got sweatshirts from the Armenian Red Cross as prizes.

- I think it was interesting and fun to play against other school teams, and I want to thank the ones who organized this tournament, says Artsrun.

This tournament is also about hiv-awareness, and Artsrun knows that aids is a deadly illness. He also knows that condoms protects against hiv.
Artsons thanks goes to among others David Asilbekyan who is the youth leader in Tavush. He invited all the schools in Ijevan, and all the gym teachers said yes. He is satisfied with the fact that all teams showed up, and says it is the first time that they have arranged such a tournament

- This tournament against hiv is a new way to inform people about hiv, and I hope they read the posters and take leaflets home, says David. – And of course I hope the pupils are having fun!

David goes to Norway as youth delegate this summer, and he would like to initiate a similar tournament there.


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