From classroom to stadium: Introducing student volunteers

If you are around Singapore Indoor Stadium, you may have seen this young group of volunteers ushering the spectators, directing traffic at the carpark, and even leading the VIPs to their booths.

Led by teachers, Venket Chilvan and Lee Yew Ming, these 15-year-old boys are volunteers from Fairfield Methodist School and are delighted to play a part in this 28th SEA Games held in Singapore.

The idea of volunteering for the SEA Games was self-initiated and organised by Venket and Lee, with the support of their principal.

"We typically look for enriching activities [outside the classroom]", says Venket, 29.

He scouts for both sporting events as well as other community initiatives such as Bare Your Sole and Hola Singapore! events, for his students to participate in.

Both Venket and Lee are also the teachers-in-charge for the football team, thus participating in sporting events such as SEA games appears fitting for their young charges.

The journey to being a SEA Games volunteer started with Venket learning about such an opportunity from a staff over at Sport Singapore.

He shared this with Lee, 45, who was also supportive and keen to participate in the biggest sporting event this year.

Together, they gathered sign-ups from their class as well as the football team.

With around 40 to 50 interested students, they then sourced for an appropriate venue to accommodate everyone, and finally, Singapore Indoor Stadium was chosen.

When asked on the reasons for getting involved in sports volunteerism, Lee described it as an "eye opener on how big events are organised (as you're getting) people from all walks of life together".

The lessons learnt could then be transcribed down to the students and aid them in organising future events in school, especially since a number of them are student leaders.

Lee also added that it creates a "shared experience" for the boys forging camaraderie while giving back to the community via a sports related event.

The boys have enjoyed their experience so far too, with 15 year old Aloysius Chua adding that it made him learn "the value of teamwork" as well as to be more sociable.

Captain of the football team Kynan Lam added that he was able to meet different kinds of people and develop people skills, especially when dealing with the occasional uncooperative spectator as part of his ushering duties.

If you see any of them walking around, do give them a word of encouragement for stepping up to volunteer and serve the community in this 28th SEA Games. 

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