Have you seen a young girl helping out with Equestrian at the Singapore Turf Riding Centre while her father offers a steadying hand? Chances are that you’ve stumbled upon Charlotte Ng, the youngest volunteer at this year’s Games.
Charlotte and her dad posing for the camera
at the Singapoe Turf Riding Centre.
The eight-year-old, along with her father Ng Chee Wei, are Sports Results Specialist Volunteers for the equestrian events. Their duties include distributing hard copies of the official results to the various parties at the Singapore Turf Riding Centre. Charlotte also gets to be close to the horses, which is Charlotte's favourite animal.
Although the pair know very little about their equine friends, save for a bit of pony riding experience on Charlotte’s part, Chee Wei hopes this particular volunteer opportunity will expose his daughter to the region’s equestrian elite.
“If she wants to learn riding, it’ll be good for her to get to know the sport better first. I volunteered myself, so I could be with her,” he explained, adding that Charlotte would probably require help understanding the training material, as well as with some of the physically strenuous aspects of the role.
And, for this encouraging father, it’s not just about helping Charlotte to get to know horses better through this volunteer stint. Ready to help nurture any passion that she might have, he quipped: “Even if she wants to become a professional rider, I’m okay. As long as she’s interested in something, I’ll support her.”
Chee Wei’s enthusiasm stems from a desire for Charlotte to have a holistic education and childhood. Hoping to broaden her horizons and inculcate a love for sports in her, he advocates exposing young children to a variety of activities.
“During my time, sport was never the focus. Today, children are now more balanced, and people are able to appreciate sports as an important part of life. It’s a good opportunity for her to get to know what is beyond her studies and to see what’s happening in Singapore,” he professed.
Certainly, there are other lessons to be learnt too, according to this active dad, who had also volunteered as a torchbearer during the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 and participates in marathons during his free time.
Charlotte Ng and her father, Ng Chee Wei, at Universal Studios during the Volunteer Appreciation Night in March 2015. Photo: SINGSOC
Chee Wei hopes Charlotte will witness the rigours of an athletic lifestyle, and realise how much effort goes into learning and training for a sport.
“This is also a chance for her to know that it’s not so easy to just learn horse riding. It’s a lot of hard work that you need to put in – it’s not just going there and riding the horse. You need to care about the horse, you need to do much more. A lot of effort is required just for a little bit of improvement in a sport,” he pointed out.
Of course, horses and lessons aside, being a part of the SEA Games will definitely make 2015 a fulfilling year for the pair.
“I think the SEA Games will be a good learning experience for both Charlotte and me. The last event was 22 years ago, so it’s a rare opportunity to get behind the scenes and understand the logistics and planning as someone involved, rather than as a spectator. The experience will be quite different,” he concluded.
With such meaningful experiences lined up, it definitely seems that young Charlotte, along with Chee Wei, will savour an eventful 28th SEA Games.