(Ms Lee Huei Chern (extreme left), Head of Digital, 28th SEA Games Organising Committee and Marketing Director at SSC presenting Relay Play their Prize Money).
“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)
In this digital age, hackathons are where bold ideas are tossed around, in turn inspiring greater ones to come to light. So when the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) was invited to sponsor the Singapore edition of AngelHack’s AppHack 2013 held at Microsoft Singapore HQ from November 23-24, the local sports body seized the opportunity to be part of this impressive gathering of mobile app developers.
“At this juncture, we are exploring creative ways to leverage on technology to engage the community through sports. With the Singapore Sports Hub nearing completion and Singapore playing host to a series of mega sporting events that include the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Championships next year and the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2015, it will be exciting times ahead for the local sporting scene. We see lots of potential in using digital to get more people to participate in these events, and to bring the games closer to the masses.” shared Ms Lee Huei Chern, Head of Digital, 28th SEA Games Organizing Committee and Marketing Director at SSC.
The event attracted over 200 participants consisting of mobile app developers, designers and business development people, who had to develop a fully working mobile app prototype of their idea within just 24 hours. At the end of the hackathon, a total of 38 projects were finally submitted. Out of these submissions, 16 groups whose prototypes were related to the sports theme made their pitch to SSC. For the SSC’s brief, participants were informed that Singapore will be hosting the 28th SEA Games in June 2015. The SSC judging panel were open to creative ideas for a mobile app that would form part of a larger marketing plan to promote the regional sporting event and engage the local and regional communities during the various milestone events planned for.
Some of the interesting entries submitted included the “Lion’s Roar”, a mobile app that aims to engage the audience to participate in cheers during any sporting event and “Rally”, a digital platform that allows fans to express their support and interact directly with their favourite Team Singapore athletes in the lead up to the 28th SEA Games 2015. After much deliberation, the judges for the sports category came to a unanimous decision to award the top SSC sponsored prize to Team Relay Play.
“Team Relay Play’s idea of how the torch relay would be executed digitally was not only fun and interactive, it also incorporated mass participation, allowing participants to form and create their own story. With these factors in place, we believe the idea has the potential to go viral and travel outside of Singapore, particularly in the Southeast Asian region.” says Ms Lee Huei Chern
Team Relay Play is a uniquely diverse group of individuals. Members, who are all currently living in Singapore, hail from various countries. Kevin Flanagan is Irish and currently the founder and owner of Co-Opts Pte Ltd. Aseem K Thakur orginates from India and is one of the co-founders of www.give.sg. M Rheza Satria Ta hails from Indonesia and is a software developer working for Savant Degrees. Lastly, Jurvis Tan who just completed his GCE O’Levels is Singaporean. Despite their age gaps (Kevin is 53, Aseem is 27, Rheza is 22 and Jurvis is 16), the group which was formed rather spontaneously, certainly enjoyed each other’s company.
Aseem had this to say about his team and their experiences “I first learned about AppHack when I met Jurvis a month back at another event. As the idea of a hackathon sounded exciting, we decided to register for the event. Subsequently, I invited Rheza, a good friend of mine to participate as well. We met Kevin at the hackathon and everyone just got along really well. Hence, we decided to form a team and started hacking away. The diversity of our group was in fact instrumental during our attempts to resolve issues along the way. Aside from that, we had a lot of fun during the hackathon. If there was an award for the team that laughed the most, we would certainly stand out as clear winners for that prize. I believe by keeping things fun, we were able to draw the best out of each other.”
Team Relay Play certainly has much more to laugh about having bagged the top SSC sponsored prize and the opportunity to take their mobile app to next level.