The goal of the ALA Sports office is to bring together Latvians through sports, particularly the younger generations. Each year we organize championships in women’s and men’s volleyball and basketball. The Sports office supports youth sports at the Latvian camps at Garezers and the Catskills, as well as several other athletic competitions throughout the United States. An annual sporting events calendar can be found on the ALA sports website (alausa.org/en/our-work/sports).
2019 ALA Championships in volleyball and basketball The 66th annual Latvian championships took place Memorial Day weekend (May 25/26) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The main organizers were Aleksis Vizulis un Kaldiss Grants. This was the second time Grand Rapids hosted the games, the first time since 1966.
Three teams competed in basketball – New York “Rakte”, a combined team from Chicago and Kalamazoo (“Chicazoo”), and “Koknese” (a team of friends that met and played together on the last sports trip to Latvia in 2018). Three games were played on Saturday – “Rakte” defeated “Koknese” 42:21; “Chicazoo” defeated “Koknese” 56:28; and “Chicazoo” defeated “Rakte” 48:35. The final was played on Sunday, where “Chicazoo” once again defeated “Rakte” 37:21. Jon Reisterer “Chicazoo” was named MVP. “Koknese” was awarded the team sportsmanship trophy. Jon Houston (Toronto) earned the award for achievements on and off the court.
Two teams participated in women’s volleyball – a combined team from Chicago and Kalamazoo, and Minneapolis “Starts”.
The teams participated in exhibition games Saturday. The final was played on Sunday. Chicago/Kalamazoo won the 3 out of 5 game match 3:1. Alīse Tupurīte (Chicago/ Kalamazoo) was named MVP. Liene Millere was awarded the best hitter. Adrianna Nora (“Starts”) earned the award for achievements on and off the court.
Men’s volleyball saw the greatest participation with 5 teams – Chicago, Kalamazoo, Toronto, Washington DC “Sigulda” and a combined team from Cleveland and Minneapolis.
Results following pool play on Saturday were as follows: Chicago (6-2), Kalamazoo (6-2), “Sigulda” (5-3), Toronto (35), Cleveland/Minneapolis (0-8). The finals were contested Sunday. Toronto beat Cleveland/Minneapolis (21:17, 21:16) to advance into one semifinal. Semifinals: Chicago beat Toronto (21:14, 21:16); Kalamazoo beat “Sigulda” (21:15, 21:16). Kalamazoo defeated Chicago in the championship match 21:13, 21:17. Ēriks Krievs (Kalamazoo) was named MVP.
Pauls Ejups (Kalamazoo) was awarded the best hitter. Grants Osvalds (“Sigulda”) earned the award for achievements on and off the court. The united team of Cleveland/Minneapolis was awarded the team sportsmanship trophy.
The 67th championships, scheduled to take place in Cleveland, Ohio on Memorial Day weekend, May 23/24, 2020, have been postponed. Updated information about the tournament will be posted on the ALA sports website.
The Latvia Cup in soccer was played near the Latvian camp in the Catskills in the summer of 2019 between two teams from the east coast. New Jersey “Kursa” defeated the team from the Heritage Camp 3:1. The next challenge for the Latvia Cup, scheduled for the summer of 2020, has been postponed. Updated information about the rescheduled match will be posted on the ALA sports website.