The Young Team Singapore Ambassadors (YTSA) are a familiar sight at local sporting competitions featuring our national athletes. Their voices, enthusiasm and energy has inspired many a Singaporean athlete.
Over the course of two days, a new batch of YTSA were inducted into the program at the 11th Intake Induction Camp on 30th and 31st May at Singapore Sports Hub. Close to 200 youths from over 20 secondary schools came together to embark on the exciting journey which offers many up-close interactions with Team Singapore athletes as well as platforms to develop greater leadership qualities and national pride.
The inductees were led by 20 instructors and assistant instructors during the camp. The senior ambassadors led by example with their natural exuberance and energy, as they coaxed the initially shy inductees out of their shells through games, workshops and other activities.
One of the highlights of the first day’s program was a sharing session by Team Singapore athletes, which included Rio-bound swimmers Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu, national basketball players and Singapore Slingers Desmond Oh, Ng Han Bin, Wong Wei Long, Delvin Goh and John Ng, and national basketball women’s team captain Lim Jia Min.
TeamSG swimmers Theresa Goh (left) and Yip Pin Xiu sharing their experiences with the new intake of YTSA. Photo: Sport Singapore
Theresa Goh, who will be representing Singapore at the upcoming Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, said, “We did a little sharing session with the new YTSA recruits. It’s really nice to be here because usually when we go for competitions locally, we see a lot of the YTSA in the crowd cheering for us and they are always so enthusiastic.”
“When we see that in the crowd we feel even more pumped up and proud to be able to represent our country. It is great for us to be able do something in return, share our experience and hopefully inspire them in some way,” she continued.
After the sharing session, it was off to the OCBC Arena, home of the Singapore Slingers, for a sports clinic where the Singapore Slingers and Lim Jia Min put their young charges through basic basketball drills and team building games.
TeamSG basketball and Singapore Slingers player Wong Wei Long engaging the YTSA during the sports clinic. Photo: Sport Singapore
“We prepared a clinic for the kids. To get them more familiar with the sport, we introduced some basic basketball drills and skills to give them a feel of everything we have been doing,” said Delvin Goh, the tallest player in the men’s team standing at 2.02 metres.
“I really can’t describe how they have actually helped me and the team. If I could, I would thank each and every one of them for their support. When we’re tired, their cheers from the stand kept us fighting on. So I’m really grateful for them,” he gushed gratefully.
On the second day of the programme, the newly minted YTSA went through a team bonding workshop, a telematch and ended their day with an indoor campfire.
YTSA being led through a series of team building activities by the instructor. Photo: Sport Singapore
“As a YTSA, you will learn more about Team Singapore athletes and be actively involved in the local sporting scenes," said Jacelyn Poh, a YTSA and Executive Committee member. "After joining as a YTSA, I fell in love with it. When we are in the programme, we get a lot of exposures that we don’t get back in school and we opportunity to interact on a more personal level with the Team Singapore athletes and get to know the kind of support they need from us.”
“Through the programme, we also got to know some of the athletes in person and became friends with them. After which, you naturally want to support them at their competitions. It feels great knowing that your cheers of support matters and make a difference to the athletes,” she continued.
Another YTSA, Lydia Pereira, said that the experience has given her a whole new bunch of friends that she can call family.
“Don’t be afraid to cheer and don’t be afraid to be yourself because here, we are a family and we accept anybody. You can be who you want to be. As long as you enjoy sports and enjoy cheering, just come and join us,” said the Temasek Polytechnic student.
As the two days wound to a close, the senior and junior YTSA joined together in a night of dance performances and merry-making as the camp ended with an indoor self-improvised campfire, powered by an electric and colour strips of paper.
See what the YTSAs were up to in the video below: