Upon realizing that 14th to 26th of August will be during the second and third academic week, I reconsidered my hankering for a volunteer role in the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). As much as I didn’t mind committing many hours, there are seminars and lectures to take into consideration – especially since I’m on my final year. So when there was a recruitment session in school, I was really hoping I could find a part that would have a more accommodating schedule. After speaking to the very friendly Venue Manager and much deliberation, I signed up to be a Culture & Education Programme (CEP) Station Host for Hort Park along with two good friends. I was also offered a leadership opportunity, which I gladly accepted.
In that CEP venue, the educational theme of social responsibility was emphasized, touching on environmental issues, sustainable development and ultimately creating awareness and inspiring young athletes to play active roles in their communities.
Time quickly flew by, with trainings and briefings I unexpectedly enjoyed (to be honest, reminders for whole day trainings very rarely evoke positive emotions). I met new like-minded and really awesome people – fellow volunteers and SYOGOC members alike, and was guided by encouraging trainers to prepare us to be in tiptop condition for THE day. Before we knew it, we were watching the Opening Ceremony and the excitement mixed with a heap of nervousness could not be contained any longer.
The terrarium workshop by the Hort Park staff was also conducted in the MPH and so I had the chance to help the
athletes in making their terrariums. When they finished making their terrariums much faster than they ought to, some of the talented athletes showed some dandy moves, performed dances or even lip-synced to their favorite songs – whatever it was, everyone surely enjoyed and was clearly entertained. The part of my duty that I loved the most will have to be the mini-awarding ceremony at the end of the day. No matter how tired the athletes were, they always had the energy to shout their group numbers when I ask them who they think is the overall winner was.
Needless to say, I really enjoyed the time I spent mingling with the athletes, coaches, Athlete Role Models (ARM), facilitators, SYOGOC staff, translators, Hort Park staff and all those who made the whole experience wonderful and awesome. I reckon every person involved in YOG has a different story to tell – a beautiful and memorable story one would not trade anything in the world for! (:
Last but not the least, I was also given the chance to be part of the first Youth Olympic Flame’s journey as a torchbearer. And for that, I can only say that IT WAS THE MOST STRESSFUL BUT EXCITING 100m OF MY LIFE! 😀