After 12 days of hard work, 17000 volunteers from various competition venues will be bidding goodbye to the experience that is the 28th Southeast Asian Games. Team Nila speaks to some of the 800 volunteers at the OCBC Aquatics Centre (AQC) about their SEA Games journey, and here is what they had to say.
Eileen Ng (F&B)
“I think it was fantastic, Singapore did quite well (referring to Singapore’s Gold medal tally). The athletes really trained very hard.”
Pearlene Loy (Logistics)
“This is the first time I have seen aquatic events live. I find it a great experience as we are there to experience the athlete’s win.”
Kenny Goh (Media Relations)
“I think I’ll miss the part where I get to meet a lot of people from all around Asia. I actually met a lot of people as part of Media Relations and I will miss interacting with them. I will miss this opportunity and my colleagues.”
Tay Koh Eng (Security)
“It is great to be able to contribute towards the 28th SEA Games. I have been waiting for this opportunity for many years and at my age I don’t think I will have another chance (to participate. I will miss volunteering. With all my heart, I salute the volunteers who really take their time, and contribute to the country (at the SEA games). I hope that the new generation of Singaporeans will continue to volunteer for SEA games, when it comes back to Singapore. Even if I didn’t join security, I would still want to be a volunteer.”
Claire Yap (Workforce Manager)
“Although the process was enjoyable (with my teammates) everything has to come to an end. I’m sure we will leave proud to be a part of SEA Games. The cohesiveness among my teammates made the SEA Games most memorable. That made the deepest impression on me. It has been great because of the people we meet, and the experience…because sitting in this office we get all the cheers whenever Singapore wins, we get it firsthand. So you know when Singapore wins because it is super loud and super patriotic.”
“Thank you volunteers for your service. We hope you have enjoyed taking part in the SEA Games!”
Michael Yong (Deputy Venue Manager)
“I will definitely miss the SEA Games, experience wise. It is a unique experience and it is very rare for us to participate in such a large-scale event. I have enjoyed working with different people from different industries. I’m looking forward to having a good rest after all the preparation our team has put in. This is also the first time I’ve seen aquatic sports in live action.”
“I would like to thank all the GTLs and volunteers for their effort towards the SEA Games. I would also like to apologise to those I have “snapped” at while at work. It was never my intention to be rude to anyone who is willing to volunteer and spend their time making SEA Games a successful one.”
“We at AQC are one of the longest operating competition venues. It has definitely not been easy for everyone. However, we have managed to achieve at least 90% of attendance from our volunteers (since the first day of operations). Without their help, I doubt the event would go as smoothly.”
Weng Chong (Venue Assistant)
“SEA Games will be a good memory for me because I love sports. I have been waiting to participate in SEA Games for more than a year and it has been a great opportunity for me to serve, to watch the games live when I’m off duty, and to meet more friends. I also managed to meet sprinting legend C. Kunalan which was a huge honour. SEA Games was such a great experience for me that I am thinking about volunteering for the ASEAN Paralympic Games happening in December.”
Tan Jit Jeow (Events Service Marshal)
“I volunteered for SEA Games because sports is my passion and I was a sports enthusiast in my younger days. I want to give back to society and SEA Games is even more significant for me as it is Singapore’s 50th birthday. I am usually deployed as a marshal at the West wing, and it is more challenging as there are more doors, more entrances and more people.
“Some were frustrated, but it’s very important to be patient and to explain (to them). I have learnt a lot of what goes on behind the scenes at sporting events and now I appreciate sports even more.”
Ang Boon Thiam and Wency Chay (Events Service)
“We are very fortunate to be blessed with such an amazing Events Service team. On sunny days, they are out braving the UV rays to guide spectators to the right places. On rainy days, they take the initiative to shelter patrons to games entrances with heavy umbrellas. They often have to bear the brunt of spectator’s impatience, but they bounce back quickly and press on with their bright smiles.
“As Event Service managers, we never had to worry about our volunteers not turning up for duty. Many of them even extended their shifts just to ensure smooth crew transits between shifts or to relieve us so we could take a breather.
“We know that ‘Thank You’ is an understatement for all the hard work our volunteers have done, and that ‘sorry’ doesn’t begin to express how bad we feel about your ‘sufferings’. But please know that we are most grateful to have your support and commitment, and for always giving us your 200% while on duty. AQC Events is extraordinary because of every single one of you!”