Since its inaugural edition in 2016, the week-long GetActive! Singapore has always been supported by an army of Team Nila volunteers. This year, the unsung heroes were given a bigger platform to shine.
A handful of Team Nila volunteers took on leadership roles in various Sports Festivals, the Singapore National Games, and the Inclusive Sports Festival, in addition to the larger group of volunteers working as games service officers, venue service managers, sports presenters, and more throughout GetActive! Singapore.
“We wanted to focus on the co-creating GetActive! Singapore with Team Nila, as well as [develop] their leadership qualities. We wanted to empower our volunteers [to be involved],” explained Pauline Lee, Senior Executive for Volunteer Engagement and Partnership, Sport Singapore (SportSG).
The FUNtastic Sports Village was put together by Team Nila. Photo: Sport Singapore
One of the bigger opportunities available was the planning and organising of the Punggol Sports Festival, which was led by Team Nila leaders and students from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).
Setting up an area known as the FUNtastic Sports Village at Punggol Waterway Point, the festival provided some 6,000 participants with sports try-outs, games, and group workouts.
Team Nila volunteers Wong Wui Jin and Cheng Kwei Chai. Photo: Sport Singapore
Cheng Kwei Chai, a Team Nila leader and venue service manager at Punggol, said: “The preparations started about three months ago. We collaborated with the SportSG staff and SUSS students - we thought of the games, and we planned all the logistics and manpower [needs].”
Having been a Team Nila volunteer since the 2015 SEA Games held in Singapore, Cheng was happy to be given this opportunity to lead. He said: “We’re the brains behind this event, so it’s different from previous years where the SportSG staff would do all the thinking, and we just executed. This [experience] was definitely beneficial to us.”
Months ahead of the Punggol Sports Festival, the Team Nila leaders went through additional training organised by SportSG, in order to better prepare for their roles.
Cheng’s wife and fellow volunteer, Wong Wui Jin, shared: “To me, volunteering is a journey of learning. I feel that it is not just about spending time [on the ground], but along the way, I’ve learned how to communicate with people, engage the public, and resolve conflicts.”
She added: “Next year, we definitely will be coming again to join Team Nila, and we hope to bring more joy and fun to the public!”
Besides the lessons learnt, the plus-points of joining Team Nila also include the joy of meeting new people.
Team Nila volunteer Steven Soo. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Every year, I like to get involved with GetActive! Singapore. I find it very nice, and I [get to] know a lot of friends and gain a lot of [new] experiences. I like to give back to society, and also to get people to be active,” expressed 61-year-old Steven Soo, who was a games station officer.
Over this national sporting week of GetActive! Singapore, it was clear that both Team Nila volunteers and Singaporeans alike enjoyed themselves greatly, as a member of the public Dorothy Phey pointed out.
“[These activities] are family-friendly, and it’s great for young children. It’s just for them to enjoy themselves, instead of being at home, [and] for them to sweat it out,” said Phey, who had played a game of laser tag with her husband and two sons, aged six and nine.
Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, also visited the FUNtastic Sports Village on Sunday, where he took part in the GetActive! Singapore workout and played games alongside other participants.
Mr. Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, taking part in the GetActive! Singapore workout. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Our young students from SUSS and Team Nila developed all these games and put together a series of programmes to interest the public – I think it’s a great effort, and I hope to encourage more people to come up, be active, and learn a sport,” said Baey.
He continued: “If you want to do something to keep yourself healthy and active, and you feel that you want to contribute to the community and spend your time doing something meaningful, I think Team Nila is something you can consider!”
If you wish to join our Team Nila volunteers, find out more here: https://www.volunteers.sg/.