15 August 2011

YOG 2010 legacy: Singapore Youth Olympic Festival

A year ago yesterday, Singapore was awash in Youth Olympic Games (YOG) fever as a dazzling opening ceremony at the Floating Platform at Marina Bay kicked off 12 days of sporting competition for the inaugural games.

Yesterday morning, some 1,000 of the 20,000 volunteers who helped ensure the YOG ran smoothly - affectionately dubbed the Purple Army - turned up for the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival, the first of an annual reunion organised by the Singapore Olympic Foundation to continue the legacy of the historic games.

This year's festival at the Singapore Expo is a week-long showcase of five different sports - futsal, table-tennis, badminton, basketball and taekwondo.

Singapore National Olympic Council president Teo Chee Hean noted that the Youth Olympics had generated greater interest for certain sports, among them archery and fencing.

"What's important is the wonderful spirit taken forward ... We want more young people to be interested in sports, (to) build a bigger base so that we can develop good sportsmen.

"What we need is good organisation, good volunteers to come forward and sports federations that are well-managed," he added.

Youth Olympic medallists Audrey Yong (sailing) and Jeffrey Lightfoot (football) helped to hand over a donation to four badminton players from Japan's tsunami-hit Fukushima prefecture who are here for the festival.

The festivities were also attended by Ino Menegaki, the High Priestess of the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony from Olympia, Greece.

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