Singaporean Makes His Mark In International Sport Development As IOC Coordination Commission Member
These days Goh Kee Nguan runs the operations of a leading Singapore company that provides event and exhibition services in Asia and the Middle East. But it has not stopped him from doing his part for international sport.
Kee Nguan was the Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (SYOGOC), who led his team to successfully organise the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August 2010.
Tapping on his experience, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President appointed him as a member of the Coordination Commission (CoCom) for the Second Youth Summer Olympic Games (YOG), which will take place in Nanjing, China in 2014. Kee Nguan (KN) spoke about his role as a CoCom member for the Nanjing YOG.
Q: What do you do as a CoCom member?
KN: We have been appointed by the IOC President to oversee the preparation and organisation of the Nanjing YOG. Our job is to make sure that the Games will be organised successfully and in accordance to the IOC vision for the YOG, which is to inspire young people around the world to take part in sport, and adopt and live by the Olympic values.
Q: Are there any specific areas of the second YOG that you are particularly interested in?
KN: I am interested to look at the overall preparation of the Games, making sure that it is in line with the characteristics of what a YOG should be, that is, youth-focused and value-based, besides high standards of sports competition. With my experiences in the first YOG, I am in a good position to assess how preparation by the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOGOC) is progressing.
Q: How have your experiences with the first YOG helped you as a CoCom member?
I am able to share with NYOGOC the areas where we did well in. For examples, how we went about engaging the youth, and how we planned and coordinated the operations and logistics for the Games.
I will also discuss areas that we could have done better, like how we could have done more to involve the local and international communities in the games. We could also have better clarified the level of services required so that we could know clearly what were the must-haves and good-to-haves.
Hopefully, I can help to make NYOGOC’s journey smoother, its execution more efficient and effective, and the second Summer YOG better than the first.
Q: How will Nanjing 2014 be different from Singapore 2010? What are some of the features of Singapore 2010 that we can continue to see in Nanjing 2014?
KN: The main components for Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014 are the same â€“ high level sport competitions with equal emphasis on culture and education. Many features of Singapore 2010 will be seen in Nanjing 2014: the school-National Olympic Committee (NOC) twinning programme, mixed NOC and gender sports format, and organising a green Games.
But the young athletes will compete in 28 sports, with golf and rugby included, instead of just the 26 sports that were featured at Singapore 2010. Beach volleyball will also be introduced for the first time at Nanjing 2014.
The Games-time activities will take place in the Youth Olympic Village (YOV) and the historic and natural sites of the city, such as the Laoshan National Forest Park and the city wall of Ming Dynasty. NYOGOC will organise more pre-Games activities to engage the youth through schools, promotion of sports, arts, dance and songs.
Q: Are there any Singaporean and Singapore company working with NYOGOC to organise the second summer YOG?
KN: NYOGOC has just completed its Foundation Planning and will start Operational Planning soon, so many of their plans and requirements are still being finalised. But a number of Singapore companies that were involved in Singapore 2010, such as Cityneon Holdings, have been in contact with NYOGOC. A few key members from the SYOGOC team have provided consultancy in the areas of CEP, logistics, finance and the YOV.
Q: Is there anything you would do differently if you had chance to organise another international multi-sport event like the YOG? Will you do it all over again?
KN: Singapore should definitely organise more major sporting events; they bring people together and promote sports. If I have the chance to organise the YOG again, I would work harder to get all key stakeholders on board so that we all share the vision and values of the Games. With the benefit of hindsight, I would like to make sure we have a more accurate budget estimate from the start. But yes, I will do it all over again, especially if I have the same team of colleagues to work with.