As the flames of the 2nd Youth Olympic Games starts to burn two days from now in Nanjing, China let’s try to rekindle this same flame which once burned (for the first time) here in Singapore exactly 4 years ago. From August 14 to 26, 2010 Singapore hosted the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games. And as any sporting event, this will never be successful without the help of thousands of volunteers or what was then we called the Purple Army (because our uniform then were colored purple).
I remember when I was younger that I stayed awake until early morning just to watch the opening ceremony of 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. I was always fascinated with big stadiums and sports, that’s why getting hook up with Olympics is very easy for me, there even came a time that I have memorized all the Olympic host cities from 1896 Athens until that time 1992 Barcelona. I moved to Singapore in 2008 and when I realized that Singapore will be hosting the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, I immediately sign up to be a volunteer.
This was my very first taste of sports volunteering and I was lucky that it involves the Olympic family. So I signed up online and then received an email confirming our participation and which area of volunteering we will be assigned. We had series of trainings specific to our areas of role assignments. We pick up pur uniforms and accreditation ID a few weeks before the games
I was assigned as Transport Assistant Team Leader for the Hockey venue. We started reporting prior to the actual games because the teams already started practicing in the venue at Sengkang Hockey Stadium. My company where I work was very supportive enough to allow me to take half day leave so I can report for volunteering works in the afternoon shift that usually last until 10pm or beyond.
My workforce ID, the color and the letter codes let’s you know which area of volunteering you belong and which area of the venue you are permitted to enter. During the games it has become a fad to collect different Olympic pins of different countries and we displayed it in our lanyard.
I remember during the practice games, one official came to us and ask for a transportation “immediately”, we explained to him that we need at least 10 minutes for the transportation to arrive and he started “complaining”. Then the next few days he would come to us again for transportation, eventually he have seen how we have performed our roles as volunteer that by the end of the hockey event, he came to us and shake our hands one by one and thanked us for the assistance that we have extended. This kind of gestures whether small makes us volunteers feel appreciated and helps us to overcome the physical (and mental) fatigue we have “suffered” from doing our volunteer roles through out the entire games.
This is one of the official shuttle bus of the games. The red colored bus runs from one venue to the next one in loop to bring the players, officials and even spectators from one venue to the other one. The purple colored bus are for teams and players which brings them from their hotel to the venue and vice versa.
This is the official taxi cab of the games, game officials, IOC and NOC personnel can request for this if they need to go to one official venue to another. They would have to request to us through the transport desk and then we will arrange for them by providing them the schedule time that they can be pick up.
I will forever be proud of being a part of this event and because of this experience, it inspired me to continue my sports volunteering until today. I am very much looking forward for the next big sporting event to hit Singapore which is 2015 South East Asian Games. I have already signed up online and we will be starting our online training by this month.