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The faces behind the voices

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From Left to Right: Joshua Tan, Ang Peng Siong and Raphael Chau cheering on the athletes. Photo: Byron Wee / SINGSOC

From Left to Right: Joshua Tan, Ang Peng Siong and Raphael Chau cheering on the athletes. Photo: Byron Wee / SINGSOC

Ever wondered who are the faces behind the booming voices you hear every time you are at a competition? Today, we put the faces to the voices, as we present to you Joshua Tan and Raphael Chau, the sports announcers at the OCBC Aquatic Centre for the 28th Southeast Asian Games. Joshua Tan is a seasoned announcer and host with an avid interest in art, while Raphael Chau is a competitive swimmer from Singapore Sports School and is making his debut as an announcer for the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

People often confuse commentators with announcers, and they are quick to clear up this misunderstanding.

“Sports announcers are different from commentators. As venue announcers, it is important to balance things out when most of them are here to support Singapore,” said Joshua. By giving athletes from other countries special mentions when they win, the atmosphere in the pool is kept lively.

But don’t be fooled by how natural and casual sports announcers sound. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes.

“Doing homework is the most important thing. I may be a swimmer, but I don’t know all the swimmers by heart – all the swimmers who are participating, likely winners and the highlights of the competition – all of these need research,” said Raphael.

Google Hangouts OneTeamSG rally
Joshua Tan (centre), interviewing Team Singapore athletes Isabelle Li (left) and Sasha Christian at OneTeamSG rally in March, 2015. Photo: SINGSOC

Both announcers stressed on the importance of being able to forgive oneself on the spot after making a mistake. “I used to beat myself up for making mistakes on the names of athletes, calling the dismissal of tech officials too early or even announcing the start of an event too early,” finished Joshua.

Seeing as Joshua once did a talk about dealing with depression on TedxYouth, he elaborated on how to overcome such difficult circumstances.

“The most important thing is to understand that you are not the only one struggling out there, and the first step is to learn how to talk about it. By talking about it, you get to understand what you are going through and you can come to terms with your own emotions, and how to describe them to other people,” he said.

“It’s also important to look beyond yourself. For me, art is my armchair. I teach an art class for children with Down Syndrome, and that allows me to take my mind off myself and focus on others, helping them in the process.”

Finally, when asked what they would like to say to athletes, Raphael said, “Don’t give up, do your best, and bring home the Gold!”

Joshua added, “Never, never, never, never give up."

This author of this article is a volunteer content producer with Team Nila. For more content produced by Team Nila, please head to the 28th SEA Games Social Wall.

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