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Life at Deloitte
SEA Games 2015 Blog
Finding the extraordinary
This blog tells the stories of our people who are on the SEA Games 2015 journey. From the management team, to organizing committee, volunteers, and our athletes, each one of them will walk a different path but ultimately it will converge towards a common goal – one of pride and glory, with dreams in hand.
31 March 2015
James Walton, Deputy Clients & Markets Leader & Deloitte SEA Games volunteer
I moved to Singapore on 28 August 2010, just in time to catch the tail end of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games (SYOG). While I missed out on being part of the action, I still felt the effects - the SYOG flags were still flying and our Deloitte SYOG volunteers were still buzzing from the high of the Games.
Five years on, with the 28th SEA Games being held in Singapore this year, I am thrilled now to have a chance to play a role in a major sporting event for the first time.
I have been a spectator at many international tournaments – back in June 2014, I spent nearly 3 weeks at the World Cup in Brazil which was an incredible experience – but this will be the first time that I am on ‘the other side’, as I lead the volunteering and engagement aspect of our sponsorship which is under Clients & Markets (C&M). The training sessions for our volunteers were good fun and it’s nice to see our colleagues bond outside work and away from deadlines and deliverables.
Those of you who know me will know that sports is my passion, so the chance to work on a sports-related project for Deloitte is very exciting as it combines my day job and my love of sports. It somehow makes the normal tasks of communications and marketing much more glamourous when the success of the project is as important to the country as the SEA Games is and when your venue is the Sports Hub; a really magnificent setting.
The SEA Games project is one of the biggest projects for Deloitte in 2015 and perhaps our most ambitious strategic sponsorship since SYOG, and for me personally, there are many different angles that make this event particularly interesting.
The day-to-day work of making the most of our sponsorship is challenging. Our C&M team is hard at work managing the branding, communications and client engagement activities that will help Deloitte make the most of our sponsorship, while also coordinating the over 200 volunteers who are representing the organisation for the Opening & Closing ceremonies. We hope to build on the eminence and successful interactions from SYOG as the SEA Games offers us significant mileage and is a great benefit to the organisation.
One of the biggest differences from SYOG is that this time around we have our own athletes to cheer for. Over the last few months, we have been working on our involvement in Sport Singapore’s SpexBusiness Network, a programme through which we provide employment and internship opportunities to current and retired national athletes. I am also privileged to have been appointed by Minister Teo Ser Luck to sit on a special advisory committee to work on developing the blueprint for how the business community can better support sport and individual athletes in Singapore. My interaction with these athletes at the Spex events and during recruitment means I keep a close tab on their performances and celebrate their successes maybe more than they themselves do!
Watching three of our Deloitte netball ladies triumph for Singapore at the Asian Championships, staying up late into the night to follow Derek Wong’s progress to winning silver at the Commonwealth Games and cheering on our ex-intern Yip Pin Xiu at the Asian Para Games makes me proud of not only the athletes themselves but also being part of an organisation that is supporting them in their careers. Although all the credit for their successes ultimately rests with them, I think many of them would tell you that the support we give plays a part by providing security and stability.
2015 is definitely going to be a big year as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Singapore and prepare to host both the SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games. Through our role as Official Professional Services Provider to the SEA Games, and our ongoing support to Singapore’s disabled athletes, Deloitte will be right in the middle of the action throughout the year. Personally, I can’t wait for the Games to start and to be right there at the heart of it!