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!
“When the idea for Sport Singapore’s Brand Ambassador initiative was first broached and John Yeong asked me if I was interested in coming on board, I told him immediately ‘Let’s go!’”
That is the extent of Kerstin Ong’s purposefulness and desire to make a difference. In fact, the TeamSG hurdler rearranged her holiday plans this year so that she will be able to join her fellow ambassadors in galvanising the masses at Get Active! Singapore and celebrate National Day with them through sport.
Kerstin hopes to remain genuine in her dealings with youth athletes who look up to her, and with members of public as a SportSG brand ambassador. Photo: SportSG
The 20-year-old, who is currently waiting for her term at Singapore Management University to begin, hopes to be a different sort of influencer on Instagram. She is fit, good-looking, and stylish; she is also a national athlete who hopes to motivate and establish genuine connections with other student athletes.
“I hope to become a role model to the youths. Many of them look up to me. I hope that having met me in person, they will come to know me for my character and spirit,” the Asian Youth Games alumnus and former Singapore Sports School student expressed.
“I have my own “idols” too, successful track athletes, Olympians… But meeting them is always only about taking photos. We don’t get to talk much. I would like to take on a different role with younger athletes, inspiring them as a friendly big sister,” she continued, adding that she has been approached by younger track athletes for photographs ever since her induction into Sport Singapore's brand ambassador initiative.
That said, however, she stressed that it was not about quantity of followers. The promising young track star admitted that there had been a point some months back when she lost her focus.
“Some of my posts took on a very commercial tone, and I realised that I wasn’t really being my true self. Eventually, I discovered that all I had to do was to perform well in my sport and be genuine towards others,” Kerstin said.
Kerstin poses with a hurdle and her track spikes. It hasn't been plain sailing and she has gone through much failure but she believes she will come out stronger from it. Photo: SportSG
Revealing that she had declined to be represented by a professional management agency that approached her previously, she professed that giving her all as a Sport Singapore ambassador would better help her to make her desired impact on younger athletes.
She shared: “I believe that this is the path that best suits my ideals. I feel good that there are people who might look up to me, and that I can actually inspire them in one way or another through this initiative. I want to be able to reach out to more students.”
“Of course, my audience reach is currently limited to youths in competitive athletics. My posts don’t quite get out to the masses yet. Perhaps I’ll get acquainted with a larger audience in the coming months, and help more people to feel involved in the local sporting scene!” Kerstin enthused.
Get to know Kerstin, the TeamSG hurdler, the Sport Singapore ambassador, and more importantly, the big sister figure to budding sports stars. Leave her a message on Instagram (@kerstinong) or catch her having a ball of a time on myActiveSG’s Facebook Live videos and the Sport Singapore YouTube channel!