The Rugby 10s is a new annual event that will gather top professional rugby clubs from around the world. Holding its first ever championship tournament this year and having the distinction of being the first ever sporting event to held in the new Singapore National Stadium at Singapore Sports Hub.
I first heard of the volunteering opportunity for this event when I attended a town hall meeting for all the sports volunteer leaders last May organized by SportSG (formerly Singapore Sports Council). Although I am not familiar with the sport of Rugby, but having the distinction of being a part of the first major event to be held at the new national stadium is very appealing so I immediately sign up 😉
Though the actual event takes place from June 21-22, 2014 (Saturday and Sunday), volunteers needs to report (depending on your volunteer role) for at least 4 days and with either morning (7am to 3pm) or afternoon shift (2pm to 10pm) .
On our first day of reporting, we were given the privilege of touring the new national stadium from the first level where all the team rooms, officials and support staffs are located, to the media room until the top level to the VIP lounge.
Making ourselves familiar with the first level is very essential because this will be our “battle field” through out our duties (it took me 2 days to be familiar with the “maze” because of so many doors and hallways 😉 ).
So basically the first and second day was spent helping in the preparation of the team’s room and other logistics matter. The actual day event was a bit different.
Me and my co-volunteer was tasked to look for arriving Mascots (the kids you usually see walking out in the field with each teams before the start of every game) and Guard of Honors (the kids who wave the flag of each teams as they come out of the field) and direct them to the correct waiting area before their scheduled participation. By middle of the day, me and my co-volunteer have mastered on how to spot them from afar. Usually parents with a young kid who appears to be lost holding an email printout 😉
Once all our Mascots and GoH arrived, we gather them together and guide them on what to do every beginning of each game. Thanks to Zack Zainal, who is our volunteer photographer for this very nice back view of me, lolz.
One interesting story while I was preparing these kids and lining them up to wave the team flag and rugby 10s flags, this one kid asks if he can hold the flag of The Brumbies, I told him to wait until the two teams come out of rooms to the entrance of the pitch so that we will know which team flags we will be waving on each side. While waiting, the kid on his left side who is already waving the rugby 10s flag accidentally hit him on the forehead and he started crying and this happened while the two teams are starting to line up in the pitch entrance. I gave the kid the Brumbies flag immediately and with tears still falling from his eyes, he smiled so widely. It so happened that the Brumbies team lined up on the other side so I told him that we have to run on the other side so he can wave the flag correctly. As the teams started to enter the pitch, we waved the flag proudly while drying the tears from his eyes. Such a very cute scene.
One of the perks of volunteering for sporting events such as this is you get to see the athletes up close and personal. We were lucky to be able to have a photo with Reiner Leong, the first Singaporean who participated in this event and played for Asia Pacific Dragons.
Another photo with players from another team just right after their game.
Another best part of doing sports volunteering is you get to meet new friends with the same passion.(Thanks again to Zack Zainal for all the great photos below)
A big congratulations to my fellow volunteers that we were able to fulfill our duties beyond what we are required to do and we can proudly say that we were able to conquer the maze of the new Singapore National Stadium 😉
At first I have hesitations for volunteering for this event because I have no idea about the sport of Rugby, I know there is sport called Rugby but I am not familiar on how the game was played. But after this event I have learned to appreciate this sports and have nothing but high respect to the players because I saw how physical (and dangerous) playing this game is.
Also, I was able to “reconnect” with my other co-volunteers, some I only know by faces for the last 3 or 4 years of volunteering together.
And lastly, as I shared before with my other co-volunteers, before our last day of volunteering ended, someone approached me and asked how can they volunteer to this kind of events, I told them to register to the 2015 SEA Games website so that their names and emails will be included in SportSG database so in the future they can receive emails about sports volunteering opportunities. Again, as I told my co-volunteers, by fulfilling our volunteer roles at this event with passion and dedication and with a smile on our face showing everyone that we are enjoying at what we are doing, we were able to inspire another person to become a sports volunteer.
*For others who are interested to become a sports volunteer, aside from SportSG, you can also check the following websites:
Not About The Cheese and sign up to receive information on future sports events that will require volunteers.
The official Facebook page of Singapore Sports Volunteers and interact with fellow sports volunteer and also for news feeds of future sports events that will require volunteers.