Friday, July 23, 2010

Please pay $188 and help us evaluate the YOG Village

This has been reported on the Straits Times...

Free YOG Village stay for 200 boys

The ’stay and play programme’ , which spans two days and one night, gives organisers a chance to test the Village’s readiness to host the world’s best young athletes during the August 14-26 inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

Participants will tuck into the same buffet spread that will be served during the Games, spend a night in the rooms where the athletes will stay, and attend cultural and educational activities….

A $150 early-bird fee was charged for those who signed up before June 30, and $188 for those who signed up after.

Youth Olympic Village director Sheryl Lim said participants are required to pay fees to defray the costs of meals and services at the Village.

About 1,000 people have signed up for the programme.

I'll say the organiser is really doing very well in leveraging on Singapore resources, Singaporean parents in particularly.

The organiser knows they have to test the YOG Village’s readiness because just like all other International events and conferences, we must display only our very best. Regardless how far from reality the beautiful picture we have painted for our visitors really is.

So the organiser has to get their feedback before the real guests are here. Are the beds as comfortable as those found in hotels? Can the toilets be flushed? Are there enough bathrooms? And is the buffet spread good enough to invite Buffetlicious' Michelle Chai over for lunch?

And since this is the Youth Olympics Games, the best test candidates will be the local students! Till now, everything seems fair enough. But wait! Here's the bizarre part! In order to help the organiser test out the YOG Village’s readiness, the local students have to pay up to $188! Oh yeh, they have got to pay up so that they have a chance to help out! Though in the real world, we don't ask the interns to pay us to come work in our office.

The organiser may argue that somebody needs to foot the bill for the room, the buffet lunches and dinners, and not forgetting the exciting cultural and educational activities! But, really? Can't they grab some out of the S$387 million pool?

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