Ng Hean Kim, Nigel
Deputy Events Directors:
Rachel Tan Xi-Hui (left)
Brighten Chua Wei Lin (right)
The events team charters and drives the brand of sports to the forefront of SMU 🏆 by guiding and advising sports clubs’ internal and external events. The team also spearheads and executes SSU’s Signature Events such as Sports Camp 💥💥💥 #sportscampbestcamp and Waikiki 🌊☀️👙🌴 to promote a vibrant sporting culture, long lasting friendships and a one of a kind experience for all 🤙🏻🤙🏻🤙🏻
We may have 2 Aquatic Sharks 🦈🦈 in the team but we promise we won't bite!! The Badminton player 🏸 in the team kinda balances things out!! Be part of the events team and bring hype and fun to the members of SSU and the SMU community 🤪🤪🤪
What’s one part of your role that you find really fulfilling?
Nigel: It’s so fulfilling to see the execution of events and seeing the idea of an event come to life. I think it's really something great to have an idea and see it through from the planning phase to the execution phase, going through so much together as an organising committee and seeing the end product and how far you've come. Something else about doing events that makes it so fulfilling is seeing the growth from each individual along the way, learning more about him or herself and the friendships built is truly something I don't get anywhere else.
Brighten and Rachel: Unfortunately, COVID robbed us of our chances to witness successfully executed events 😭, which would arguably be the most fulfilling part of our role. However, behind every event is a team that has dedicated their time and effort over a few months of planning. As we were given the opportunity to lead and journey with them, it was heartwarming to see individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives coming together in an organising committee. We witnessed new friendships forged and evident personal growth, which makes the time we spent worthwhile 😌😌
What’s something you do in your position that most people wouldn’t know?
Nigel: Apart from initiating events and guiding my deputies, I actually advise club's events and help them tweak their event proposals to further enhance the purpose of each event. Another thing I do or that my deputies tell me I do is that I'm a "caption generator" because I can somehow come up with a caption for a post or a recruitment message just to make it hype and all!! (They'll need to correct my grammar though, can't help on that HAHA)
Brighten and Rachel: Having to chair an event like sports camp and Waikiki on such a massive scale might seem intimidating, but we actually start learning the ropes from the very beginning! We act as vice-chairs for both IFG day and SAN, providing us with ample opportunities and time to witness the planning process. Of course, we also have other responsibilities, such as imploring Nigel to go on a diet, and correcting his grammar from his extremely lengthy texts 😬😬
Over your term, what do you think is the most important trait to have in your position?
Nigel: I think patience and understanding. With the COVID situation, everything is so volatile. Events have to be planned carefully with multiple contingencies because you never know when it may be cancelled or moved online. We really have to think of a multitude of outcomes to prepare for the best and worst outcomes, whilst at the same time serving its purpose to the best of its abilities.
Brighten: Dealing with many different stakeholders for the same event or initiative stresses the need to be firm yet open minded. People might question your rationale or purpose for choosing a particular way of executing something but you have to be able to defend yourself. At the same time, it is important to accept constructive criticisms from others and acknowledge room for improvement. Ultimately, this journey inculcates critical thinking and allows one to be circumspect in decision making.
Rachel: To be forward looking!! 👀 As a big part of this role comes from chairing a signature event, planning ahead and thinking of innovative/creative ways to better the existing SSU signature events is key. Especially in times like this (o COVID..) where we aren’t able to carry out our events, thinking of new ways to reach out to not only the freshies, but also the SMU sporting community is essential 😬
Why did you run for SSU?
Nigel: I chose to rerun for SSU because I learnt how rewarding it was. Seeing friendships forged from events and realizing this goes beyond personal growth were amongst other reasons why I chose to rerun. It has helped me to grow and taught me to lead whilst gaining valuable knowledge from important connections. It has been the highlight of my university life thus far and continues to be one of the experiences I would never regret.
Brighten: I kickstarted my SMU journey with sports camp, one of SSU’s signature events. The exhilarating 3 days of camp experience left a deep impression in me and exposed me to the SSU culture. Coupled with the intention of wanting to be more involved in uni life, I decided to challenge myself by running for SSU. This allowed me a chance to pass my positive camp experience to the next batch of freshies and contribute to the SMU sporting community. In fact, SSU has given me more than that; I’ve also had the privilege of forging invaluable friendships with people that make school a little more homely. What better way to spend my first year in uni than being a part of SSU!! 🤪🤪
Rachel: The first taste of SMU I had was thankfully through a SSU Signature Event — Sports Camp, which eventually served as the catalyst to run for SSU. Personally, it wasn’t a definite yes from me when probed by seniors to run because I just didn’t know what to expect from the culture and whether I was able to cope with my studies. I felt that by deciding to run for SSU, I was allowing myself to fully immerse into the uni life I’ve always wanted and at the same time give back to the sporting community. Taking up a deputy role in the Sports Union specifically was placing myself in a known unknown situation — since I was an athlete myself but had never been part of a large student organisation before. Needless to say, I was apprehensive and unsure of what being a part of SSU would entail. To my surprise, SSU became more than just a union for me, but really a place of comfort and banter (no choice when u see them every other day I guess 🤪) so really no regrets 😬
What's one thing you’ve gained from your experience in SSU so far?
Nigel: I think valuable friendships and the ability to lead and listen. Invaluable friendships is what it is, gaining a group of people that I can really banter and have a good laugh with is hard to come by. And knowing that low maintenance friendships are at its best when you haven't seen each other for like a few months but believe that you are always ready to banter over a pint or some dinner. The ability to lead and listen comes from understanding that in SSU, you will have the chance to lead and that's where you can put your leadership skills to the test and learn from your mistakes. And on the flipside, you gain an opportunity to learn from others by listening and experiencing how they lead to improve your leadership skills to be the best you can be!
Brighten: For me, I think it is learning the importance of adaptability. It has been an extremely turbulent semester with COVID disrupting our highly anticipated annual events. Instead of mulling over our cancelled events, we had to adapt fast and move forward despite the heavy hearts. The volatility of the COVID situation means that we have to constantly explore and improvise while coming up with new initiatives and contingencies. Being part of SSU has allowed me to understand the importance of quick thinking. This journey of (heightened) personal growth with my fellow MC members is one I definitely don’t regret 🤩
Rachel: I think I gained and learnt a lot throughout my time in SSU. This includes the friendships that were forged during the process. But if I have to pinpoint one thing I’ve learnt during my time, it would be the ability to work better and more efficiently in a team. 13 is no small number and often it is difficult to come to a landslide consensus especially when making decisions that not only concerns us, but the freshies and every individual in the 31 clubs that we are entrusted with. While it is no doubt tough at times, being part of SSU allowed me to understand the importance of give and take. After all, we are in this union together for the betterment of the larger SSU community 😛