SEA Games 2015 Blog

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.

30 April 2015

Matt's Story
Matt Buchanan
Associate Director, Deloitte Forensic Services and Deloitte SEA Games volunteer

What a year to be in Singapore! With the nation celebrating 50 years of independence, the hype of Singapore hosting the 28th SEA Games, and witnessing the respect the people have for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I have gotten more than a glimpse of what the heart of Singapore is made of.

As a mixed-up Aussie/Kiwi living here for the past 18 months, I have embraced the Singapore culture and way of life as best I can, and in doing so, I am fascinated by how key sport and fitness is to the day-to-day schedule of the country’s citizens. It is quite amazing that at whatever time of the day or night, there seems to be someone going for a run, cycle or boot-scooting dancing (line dancing) lessons. I bumped into a class of line dancers on my first weekend here down by Marina Bay!

Wherever I have lived – New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, United Kingdom or Singapore – I have always thrown myself into the local sports culture, with varying levels of success, from swimming, kayaking, riding ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles), marathons, triathlons through to unusual events like Tough Mudder (a team-oriented 20km endurance obstacle course). I am also a keen cyclist and squash player and I try to fit in three to four sessions a week, although the humidity here in Singapore does its best to reduce it.

Being brought up on the New Zealand religion of rugby, I was introduced to the passion and excitement of being a spectator at big matches and events, and have been to world cups in England, France, Australia and New Zealand. In fact, I caught the inaugural World Club 10s rugby tournament held in Singapore last year, the first sports event that ‘kicked off’ at the brand new National Stadium, and it was great!

With all that being said, how could I pass up the opportunity to participate as a volunteer in the SEA Games, the biggest sporting event in the region and very much a hallmark of the local sports culture? It is exciting to see the passion in the Deloitte volunteers for this year’s SEA Games and it is clear that both the Singaporeans and foreigners volunteering are eager to showcase the best of the country and ensure that the Games is the best yet. After all, it is not every day that the firm you work for is one of the main sponsors!

One of the most fascinating experiences for me during the volunteer training sessions was the discussions around which sport everyone is most keen to watch. For me, I am looking forward to seeing the rugby 7s at the SEA Games and also at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where I am hoping that the atmosphere is as good as the Hong Kong 7s tournament!

While there will always be fans for the athletic and swimming events, what are also the big draw cards for me are the non-Olympic sports like Sepak Takraw. I first came across Sepak Takraw while visiting friends near Brisbane a few years ago. To me, it looked like a mixture of soccer, volleyball and taekwondo but after watching it for a couple of hours, it became obvious that it is a very unique type of sport. Here is an interesting fact - in the area south of Brisbane, there are over 100 people playing the sport and they just had a new court built, making it Australia’s first purpose built Sepak Takraw facility.

We are now 36 days away from the 28th SEA Games Opening Ceremony and I cannot wait to watch as the teams walk into the stadium and the fireworks are being set off. To be able to participate as a volunteer in the Games and to see unique sports being played in a large-scale multi-sport event is truly special - and with it happening in Singapore’s 50th year, well, that is really the icing on the cake!


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