A three-day celebration of athletic achievement and Armenian heritage kicked off this weekend in Los Angeles after a two-year hiatus.

The 45th anniversary of the Navasartian Games is put on by the L.A. chapter of Homenetmen, which spans five continents and has 30,000 members.

“Launched in East Los Angeles in 1975, now it boasts the participation of 300 teams, 3,200 athletes, 1,100 scouts and attracts over 35,000 spectators over a period of eight weeks each year,” the Navasartian Games said on their website.

The organization is dedicated to serving children within the community through athletics, scouting and public service.

“I feel like I have been inspired to keep trying and even if I lose, I can just keep trying to win and get better,” said athlete Mila Festekjian.

Festekjian’s parents played basketball for the organization in the 1980s, and she and her sister Ava are keeping alive the tradition and legacy founded more than a century ago by Shavarsh Krissian, who died during the Armenian genocide.

“I think it’s amazing that his vision was fulfilled through the work of the generations that followed him,” said Katy Simonian of the Victory Ball Committee.

Everyone is welcome to participate. Hrashq, which means “miracle” in Armenian, is Homenetmen’s program for athletes with special needs. Founding members created a coaching system, tailored to the needs of every child.

Nanor Kabakian’s son Aren has autism with a severe apraxia of speech.

“For years, I’ve been dreaming to be able to have my son participate in a community organization alongside his brother, who does not have any challenges,” Kabakian said.

Aren wrote a poem about his experience.

“We’re all different, yet alike in that we all want to be loved,” he wrote.

For Homenetmen member Quint Chemnitz, it’s all part of the mission.

“We always say it’s in our blood. We want to elevate ourselves and others with us,” he said.