North America - the Lithuanian Physical Education and Sport Union meets in Cleveland
Last Saturday, October 28th, The Lithuanian Club of Cleveland, Ohio, hosted the annual convention of the largest ex-pat Lithuanian sports amateur organization in North America- the Lithuanian Physical Education and Sport Union. Among many of the most relevant sports-related issues to overseas Lithuanians, the group discussed the success of the 67th annual Games in the Mississauga suburb of Toronto (Canada), Hamilton Challenges in Toronto, and the record-breaking success of the US-Canadian Lithuanian delegations participating in the anniversary Lithuanian World Sport Games in Kaunas this summer.
A few years ago the organization began discussing the Lithuanian-American Lithuanian Hall of Fame project. On Saturday, four more new members were added, to the 11 added in previous years. The most prominent SALFASS athletes who ever entered the arena are in this group, which grew a litter larger this year with the addition of four additional inductees: Dr. Donatas Siliūnas from Chicago, Algis Rugienius, from Detroit and 2 Canadians - Mamertas Duliūnas and Jonas Nešukaitis.
For next year's induction, three candidates have been nominated: a - Canadian Lithuanian Jonas Zukas, Cleveland "Žaibas" spokesman Juozas Kijauskas, and Alexander Vakselis from New York.
There is a calendar for organization's main sports events in 2018, ranging from mountain skiing, golf, softball, table tennis and outdoor tennis, to the most popular sport, basketball around the world, more detailed information will be published in the press, at ŠALFASS website, www.salfass.org, and Facebook and Twitter accounts.
2017 is the official Year of Sport in Lithuania. In the US, the year of sport is also the year of elections - new members were added to the board of the SALFASS. The following board members were approved: Laurynas R. Misevičius, vice-chairman and Canadian constituency head Stasys Kuliavas, elected for the fourth time in office, secretary Arūnas Čygas, Eastern District The chairman is Deivis Pavasaris, the Middle-West - Aurimas Matulevičius, and treasurer Arūnas Morkūnas. as of few years ago, a resident of New York, Rasa Mitrulevičienė, who resides in New York as well, was elected as a treasurer of the SALFASS Foundation, replacing Gintautas Garsis in the post and becoming the first new female representative of the Board of Directors of ŠALFASS Center in a decade. Žilvinas Bublis will be the representative of SALFASS in Europe, and Paul Riškus will be the head of the Basketball Section Committee.
On Saturday, October 29th, towards the end of the congress, delegation members were treated to an unexpected surprise, when Mindaugas Kuzminskas, came to the Lithuanian Club for a visit, in town to play a NBA Regular Season Match with his team the New York's Knicks. The Lithuanian national striker has long been in contact with the members of the SALFASS and the local Lithuanian Club. He was happy to be photographed with all of the fans, including the small ones. He enjoyed the Lithuanian cuisine, saying that for the first time in 2 years in America, he finally enjoyed a lot of his favorite dishes, including cepelinai. He stayed long enough to listen to local Lithuanian singer, Eugenijus Dicevičius (Augis) perform his medley of easy listening melodies for the guests .
Kuzminskas' team- the NY Knicks, had no trouble with the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball players who played in last year's NBA Championship, winning 114-95.
In Tomas Masaytis' photos: the participants of the SALFASS Congress (with green shirts) and the Cleveland Lithuanian Club host and singer Augis (with black shirts) with Mindaugas Kuzminskas.
The main focus of this year's SALFASS annual meeting, was discussing issues of greatest importance to underprivileged Lithuanians participating in sport.