SINGAPORE: Some 3,500 people are offering to be volunteers for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games (YOG). The organisers are targeting up to 7,000 volunteers.
Manpower aside, ideas too, especially from the young, are being sought after. So a two-day retreat was held to get the youths to put on their thinking caps.
The retreat was held at the headquarters of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.
Singapore wants the inaugural YOG to be for the young, by the young. That’s why some 80 youths shared their ideas on how more could get involved.
Joining the Singaporeans were students from seven other countries, including China and Italy.
The participants had some novel ideas, covering various areas like media, people and the Olympic culture and values.
Participant Lee Shie Yar said: “We suggest a photo montage whereby we will collect photos from Singapore and also other countries who participate in the Olympics.
“We will collect the photos and form the five rings of the Olympics. We will enlarge it and put it at Changi Airport, so that the people who come to Singapore can feel connected.”
The YOG committee will help implement some of the ideas proposed at the retreat.
The retreat also helped students in terms of bonding.
Participant Radhika Kannan said: “We get to understand where other youths come from, their ideas as well, and it’s a kind of forum for the sharing of different ideas and how different things can work out when we work in a team.”
This is the second in a series of retreats – the first involved professionals from the creative industry.
Before the YOG in 2010, Singapore will be hosting the first Asian Youth Games in 2009. More details on the budget and the number of sports for the Asian Youth Games will be revealed in two weeks.
Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, said: “We are still working on the budget… Based on six to eight or nine sports, I think this will definitely be much less than what we could budget for the Youth Olympic Games.”
He said whatever the number, the ministry will “make sure that it will be a Games that will serve to meet the reputation and credibility of Singapore”.
Effectively, Singapore has only 12 months to prepare for the Asian Youth Games, slated for July 2009. That means upgrading works for some venues slated for the Youth Olympic Games will now have to be fast-tracked to meet the earlier deadline.
Singapore is using the Asian Youth Games as a test run for the bigger Youth Olympic Games. – CNA/ir
Channel News Asia