Volunteers for the 8th ASEAN Para Games came in throngs to collect their uniforms and accreditation passes for the Games over the weekend. Photo: SAPGOC
The volunteers for the upcoming 8th ASEAN Para Games gathered at the Kallang Theatre to pick up their uniforms and accreditation passes last Saturday morning. With the Games less than two weeks away, the Uniform Distribution and Main Accreditation Centre was filled with a sea of purple, as it played host to eager volunteers of all ages.
“There has been so much celebration in Singapore this year. We celebrated our 50 years [of independence], the SEA games after 22 years and now the ASEAN Para Games. It is going to be the biggest ASEAN Para Games ever! Of course, I’m very excited about it,” said David Tan, father of para-equestrian Maximilian Tan, who will be volunteering with his son.
Teenagers as young as 14 years of age all the way to the senior citizens turned up at the hall to collect their volunteer packs, doing so in an orderly fashion. A queue was first formed at the verification booth, where the identification of the volunteer was vetted, before they were sent to different counters to pick up the necessary items.
One of the oldest volunteers present was G. Ramanatham, a 76-year old accounts manager who had previously contributed his time to the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and the recent 28th SEA Games.
“I think volunteering is in my blood. We only live once, so we live it nicely. In service for the country and for the people,” he stated, when asked about his commitment to volunteering.
Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth (right), visited the uniform distribution centre and hopes that the Games will be fulfilling for volunteers as well as athletes. Photo: SAPGOC
Serving Singapore was also the main reason why Maximilian decided to join the volunteer army for the 8th APG. A Team Singapore para athlete, who has represented the nation at the Paralympic Games, he will not be competing at the APG, but that wasn’t going to stop him from doing his part.
“For me, it is just to be part of the games. Volunteering is my way of contributing. It is like being part of Team Singapore as well,” said Maximillian,
“My sport was not included in this ASEAN Para Games, so volunteering is the closest I can get into the action. It also allows me to support and cheer on my fellow Team Singapore athletes.”
With enthusiasts like G. Ramanatham as well as the father-son duo of David and Max, there will be little doubt regarding the efforts from Team NILA in backing up our local para athletes and welcoming the contingents from across the region.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who visited the uniform distribution centre at noon, expressed her hopes that the APG experience would prove equally fulfilling for both the athletes and volunteers alike.
“I think the volunteers will feel the satisfaction from seeing the Games carried out well,” she stated.
“We want to put forward our best not just to our athletes, but also to the rest of the ASEAN countries.”