Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting the Singapore Community Involved for the 2010 Youth Olympic's

The team from Anglo-Chinese Junior College posing with the GREAT YOG Sculpture.

15 October 2009

By Ellen Ng

The team from Anglo-Chinese Junior College posing with the GREAT YOG Sculpture.

How do you spread the word that the first Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is coming to town? Something large and visual would be a good way to do so, as a bunch of young people from Singapore’s Anglo-Chinese Junior College discovered.

To promote the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the group of 10 students embarked on a month-long journey to work on a project that would reach out to people in their community. The students, under the school’s Grassroots, Enrichment, Attachment and Training (GREAT) Programme, created a 3m tall by 3m wide sculpture for the Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency (GRC) Sport Festival and Ulu Pandan Youth X’travaganza – on 12 July 2009.

Depicting the Singapore 2010 Spirit of Youth emblem, the three-dimensional sculpture is a hollow structure that was filled up with origami shapes signifying the Olympic values and the YOG logo. The event saw people of different ages and backgrounds come together to fold coloured paper to complete the sculpture.

Demonstrating the art of origami star folding.

Project vice chairperson, Desmond QUEK, taught members of the public to make origami art in heart, star and fish shapes, which represent passion, excellence and friendship respectively. Desmond believes the activity drove home the significance of the upcoming Games. “As participants folded the origami, they gained awareness on the Olympic values and the meaning behind the YOG logo,” he said.

Co-chairperson Michelle GWEE agreed. “It was wonderful seeing how people from all walks of life came together to support the YOG.”

“In fact, many of the elderly enjoyed folding the origami pieces. Some even stayed behind at our booth to help us fold more pieces! Apparently, it reminded them of their childhood where they folded origami as a hobby.”

The sculpture – funded by the Singapore 2010-Young ChangeMakers Grant – also came with a canvas sheet measuring 6m by 8m that allowed the public to pen their well wishes for Team Singapore athletes who will be participating in the YOG next year. Members of the community, along with local dignitaries including Mrs Yee Shoon YU-FOO, Minister of State, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, left words of encouragement for the Singapore athletes on the large floor mat.

It was the team’s first attempt at making a sculpture of this scale, said co-chairperson Alex NG, and the gigantic size of the project caused a little hiccup. Just three days before the event, the team realised that the sculpture was simply too large and there was no way to fill it up with the amount of origami paper prepared. “Immediately, our team started to source for materials and devised new methods to modify the sculpture,” said Desmond.

“Though it was frustrating and challenging, it was a valuable experience on hindsight. It really brought the team together,” he added.

“It was satisfying when the event was over,” said Alex. “We were initially worried whether the public would be receptive towards the sculpture and banner signing. Seeing many members of the public, including old folks and children, sign the banner without persuasion and taking time to fold the origami shapes was a delightful experience.”
Last Updated: 19 Oct, 2009. 17:46 GMT+8


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