Champion athletes are the stars of any major sporting event.
They make the headlines and hog the limelight while soaking up the adulation.
The volunteers who toil for hours to ensure an event goes off without a hitch almost always operate in the shadows.
They provide the platform for a successful extravaganza.
Volunteers will play a key role when the Republic hosts the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in 2015.
Yesterday, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) inked a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), which pledged around 1,000 students to serve as volunteers for the 2015 Games.
It was the first MOU signed with an educational institution in relation to the Games.
The Games organisers will also consider the various ITE campuses - East, West and Central - as training and warm-up venues for the biennial Games, which will take place from June 5 to 16.
Speaking after signing of the MOU yesterday, SSC chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin said: "Welcoming over 7,000 athletes and officials to South-east Asia's largest multi-sports extravaganza is a massive undertaking. It will involve many hands to ensure the success of the Games, and it is with this in mind that we're looking to join forces with as many partners and interest groups.
"We will go into deeper discussions as to what fields of work these volunteers could contribute in. For example: I've seen how competent they are in media and show production, perhaps some of these students can be involved in those areas at our sporting events."
ITE director and CEO Bruce Poh said the SEA Games 2015 volunteers are likely to come from first- and second-year students, and will provide some of them with real-life experiences to complement their classroom lessons.