Rimau Rawr Rawr

The 29th SEA Games that was held recently throughout the month of August has left a shimmering trace in my life. Why? I was privileged to be selected as a volunteer. A paid volunteer as a bonus. People's experience may vary but my experience was beyond my expectation. To be frank, I never really had the opportunity to volunteer for major sports event apart from my high school experience in the Red Crescent team. Thus, this particular SEA Games was quite special to me indirectly. An international participation as it is. Oh, by the way! Rimau is the mascot that represents the 29th SEA Games which was held in Kuala Lumpur. Of course, Rimau is the short form Harimau (tiger) inspired by graceful and powerful Malayan Tiger. They may call it Rimau, but it still looks like a cat to me. MEOW! Whoops, RAWR.

Together with Rimau

Right in front of Welcome to KL2017 figure.

Moving on, my journey for the volunteer application was not like others. I applied directly my university - University of Malaya. And I was the lucky one. So we went as a name (UM) and was distributed to smaller teams respectively. I was somehow selected under venue-based game which is Fencing. The moment I heard that I'm like, oh cool! Men in suits. Fighting each other legally.  Handsome catch. Yay.

Fencing~

The Fencing game was held from 21st to 23rd of August held at Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Center (MITEC). To kick off the event I went to report myself one day earlier prior to the event and read some Fencing technical book. Nevertheless, my job scope was almost ad hoc all the time. Initially, they asked me to be in charge of the infrastructure then it was my turn to care for the crowd. Me personally handling crowds is a no no. The first-day experience was wild. People can really get monstrous to watch sports games, don't they? It was exhausting. No joke. However, I tried to stay calm and put up a big smile to them. The job scope continued until the third day of work. As time goes by, I became a crowd control expert. *grins* I was just firm and start to get hold of what I am supposed to do. It was fun. Meeting people. Learning from mistakes.

There will always be perks and disadvantages as a volunteer. Though, I'd love to highlight the perks only in this post. Generally, the perks of a volunteer are: I received an international certificate, accommodation by UM, three t-shirts (one black wow factor and two orange volunteer t-shirts) and pants. Also, an accreditation card with free access to all rapid transport to all SEA games venue (applicable only during volunteer working hours) and RM50 food token. 

While the perks of working at a venue-based are being able to witness the game you're in charge of, for free if you're not really working and meeting the athletes. Also, meeting ministers like KJ (Khairy Jamaluddin - Malaysian Minister for Youth and Sports). But to me who doesn't really watch sports, this fan-screaming meeting athlete thing did not really resonate with my wavelength. That was what I thought..... Till I became one flustered blushed girl. Who knew after watching one match of fencing game, I became fancy at this particular fencer. Majority of people would be hassling to get a picture with their favourite athlete and coaches (like seriously). They GO CRAZY. As for me, I was happy enough to take a picture with the Singaporean fencer [Picture won't be disclosed because it is priceless, haha]. Still cringing as I am writing this. :)

Together with the finalist of Men's Foil Fencing. 

UM Fencing volunteer team

Together with a couple of Malaysian Fencing team

An honour to be photographed with the para ASEAN Malaysian Fencing team.
ALL of them uses a wheelchair to fence.

Infrastructure Fencing team - initially. Before being changed to also do the technical work.
The journey as a volunteer did not end there. I was then absorbed to the communication team for the closing ceremony. Little did I know that I played a huge role in this. The job scope is basically making sure the performers receive their FM recorder (something like a walkie-talkie) using it accordingly to ensure their movements are smooth. I managed to learn the inside work of the behind stage crew. Super cool. During the closing ceremony, I ran here and there to give out FM receiver and get it back. After completing the first half of my work which is giving out the FM receiver, I am able to participate along with other 13,000 volunteers for the closing ceremony to witness the LED play in the stadium and fireworks. It was a bittersweet moment for me. The overwhelming long hours of working and standing felt nothing when I was able to finish up my work nicely and watched the closing. The sense of achievement overrules everything.  

I am still amazed at the LED performance.
The perks for communication team? Definitely to know the behind stage story and meeting local artists like Faizal Tahir, Joe Flizzoe, Vince, Jaclyn Victor and so much more. Though, once again I have no so called excitement like others. Only if Korean artists were to pass by then only I'll be hyped up I guess. I also received free shades from the REIDEL Communications (the company in charge of the video, audio, and communications headquartered in Germany for SEA Games 2017).  

With Miss Moni from Germany as our Head of Team Communication
In sum, things I've learned throughout this journey as a volunteer would be: 

1. We may meet all kind of nonsense people asking for unnecessary things, but we should be kind always even when unnecessary

2. Team work is crucial to make the event happen. In a giant event like this, inevitably things will go wrong somewhere. Even when your boss is not really understanding, we instead should cycle up our momentum to keep up with the pace of the event and just make it happen. Communication is key. 

3. Be selfless. You are working to make an event successful, so don't jeopardize the event with our own needs. We volunteered to help, didn't we?

4. Be patience! Another vital input. We may work long hours. Other people also work long hours. To a point that people get grumpy once in awhile or forever grumpy. We might not be able to eat on time. Or even be discriminated for joining the team late. Be patience. Don't go ranting to the audience  or be unkind to others and showing the bad side of us. 끝. 

5. Things will never really go as planned. There's a saying we plan, but Allah is the Best Planner. Embrace the impromptu things and perform well as a volunteer. Do well. Always be ready for the worst.

All these valuable inputs are applicable in our lives. Being part of the volunteer team was a right choice.  This writing is merely my novice experience as a sports event volunteer. Despite some unpleasant memories that happened, it happened for a reason. For me to grow to become a better person with a bigger worldview. Which I hope to develop myself. Looking towards the positive side of each thing that happens. Cherishing the small sweet things too. Thank you, Allah, for this opportunity.

We can always learn something from each event that passes through our present moment, the key is to be conscious of it. Whatever we learn and experience shapes our true self... making us richer.  Let us all of us become rich... Rich with knowledge and experience. Remember... stay out of the biggest trap, which is known as "the comfort zone" - Zahariz Khuzaimah

To a better ME. Cheers!

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Haha, thanks Fad. xD
      Rajin kau baca and komen. Maluuu xD

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  2. Saya sukaa baca experience awak 😄😄😄 boleh relate sgt all the feelingsss. Hehe. Good job Yana 👍🏼 Idolaaa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG. hahaha, bukan idola. rakyat marhaen je ni xD Just sharing dari lubuk hati je. hahaha. ^_^ sama2 kita sharing experience masing2 nanti. <3

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