They are your everyday Singaporeans, dealing with the demands of school and work. However, Sport Singapore’s newly appointed brand ambassadors and sport and fitness influencers all have something else in common – their belief in the importance of living better through sport. Get to know them in our eight-part series here!
Gary Yang has been having an absolute blast. Being a Sport Singapore ambassador may constitute an additional responsibility on top of his usual duties as a manager with the organisation, but it has been great fun so far for Gary.
Recently inducted into Sport Singapore’s pilot batch of brand ambassadors, Gary’s role involves hosting videos and live shows for the organisation’s online platforms and sharing regular snippets of his own life as a typical Singaporean dad seeking to keep fit with his family on social media.
Gary on the film set for a promotional video shoot at Sentosa. Photo: Emmanuel Chiang / SportSG
“I’m doing stuff that I already enjoy. I’m still posting what I normally would post, be it pictures from my football sessions or pictures of me playing with my kids and having fun with my colleagues. I’m now just taking the effort to document it online more and share it with the public, in the hope that it will motivate them to live more healthily,” he expressed.
The athletic father of two children (six-year-old Dean and three-year-old Gisele) dabbled in a variety of sports in his youth, and still makes the time for frequent gym and football sessions. His wife, too, had been a track athlete during her school days. With such backgrounds, it could hardly be surprising that the couple enjoys getting active together as a family, whether it is an afternoon spent swimming or just heading out for a walk.
And, it is not just an active lifestyle that Gary advocates by example, but also the right nutritional choices – positive habits that he believes children should develop from a young age.
“When you’re young, you might feel that you’re invincible – you’ll never get sick, you don’t need to eat healthily, and you’ll burn off the fats you consume. But education should start from a young age. Then hopefully, practising such habits will come naturally,” he remarked.
“My parents are actually great role models. They eat healthily and in small portions too, going with the 80% rule, which is about eating only till you’re 80% full. They’re also very conscious about what they eat,” he continued, adding that he wished to influence his own kids in the same way.
Gary poses with his pair of customised football boots at the SportSG ambassadors photo shoot. Photo: Emmanuel Chiang / SportSG
And, since becoming a Sport Singapore ambassador, he also hopes to spread these values to the wider masses, beyond his immediate family.
“I try to package my posts in a way such that the entire family is involved. Be it doing sports or simply spending quality time together, I incorporate some form of engagement with my kids to emphasise the importance of keeping healthy together,” Gary said.
Indeed, while this ambassador project does constitute a bit of extra effort on Gary’s part, the humorous presenter, with the penchant for “dad jokes”, tells us that being in the spotlight adds a dash of colour to his day job.
Explaining that he shared a “natural chemistry” with the seven other brand ambassadors due to the fact that they were all actual friends, he emphasised the initiative’s focus on authenticity.
“We’re not trying to become someone we’re not! I’m still me. Sometimes, we might stumble over our speech on a Facebook Live video, or someone might ‘video-bomb’ us, but that just makes it so real!” he enthused.
Gary in front of the camera lenses at a F1 Fit-for-racing challenge shoot. You can watch the final video embedded in this article. Photo: SportSG
Though part of the brand ambassador initiative, he’d rather not be called an “influencer”, though. All he wants is for others to reap the same benefits that he does keeping healthy together with his family.
“If I can help change just one person’s perspective on health and fitness through this journey, then I’ll feel that I’ve succeeded!” Gary said.
Join Gary on this journey by following him on his public Facebook profile here or on Instagram (@thisisgaryyang). You might also spot him having a ball with his fellow ambassadors on our myActiveSG Facebook videos or Sport Singapore's YouTube channel, so do remember to leave him a shoutout!