10 days in Langkawi as a volunteer for the SEA Games. The experience was mostly good, I was doing the same things I did for the Monsoon Cup, just in a different capacity. I wrote daily reports but instead of having them as press releases, it got posted onto the official website’s news section.
My team was very small, just four of us. The manager is a big outdoor enthusiast, the other two are young students. We worked well together, and I am grateful to have these ladies for support. We could laugh off almost everything, while enduring the administrative chaos throughout our time there.
I learned more new things about how a regatta is held and had a refresher on things I have forgotten. Like how the race officials are the most hardworking lot apart from the athletes. I don’t think Cik Burn spent more than an hour on land everyday as he had to oversee not one, but four race courses while the PRO even had time to do a ‘wind dance’.
As media volunteers, we assist in ensuring coverage goes smoothly for the press people. Daily routine included boat availability check, updates on results and for me, making sure that they actually know what was going on out on the water. And I file stories with the hope that people would want to read up more about the sport.
I would love to see sailing being in the mainstream, for sailors like Fauzi, Wanie, Latif and Lin to have the same opportunities as athletes in football and hockey for funding and sponsorship. I also want them to have the chance to make use of their talent to move upwards, turn professional. Like Ben Ainslie or Peter Burling. I don’t think my stories would get them there, but some attention to them is better than nothing at all. These kids do not have a trust fund to finance their careers or have a wealthy backer to set them up with a team. At least not yet.