OCA Young Reporter Jonathan Raj with Malaysia NOC staff at the Athletes'' Village.
06 Jul 2013
Incheon, Korea: My experience as a Youth Reporter at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games here in Incheon is an unforgettable one. I have met many people from various countries around Asia; 44 to be exact. I have experienced first-hand what a reporter goes through to write his or her articles. A reporter has to be fast, accurate, observant and knowledgable of what he or she is going to write about.
I was honoured to be one of the guests among many at the VIP reception prior to the opening ceremony. My counterpart from Macau, Miss Annie Lai On Nei, and I were introduced to officials of the OCA and various NOCs. Both Annie and I were thrilled to be a part of this. The opening ceremony at Samsan World Gymnasium was impressive. I liked the fact that both the young and the old took part in the ceremony.
One of my favourite memories of this Youth Reporter Project (YRP) is meeting the President of the OCA, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, and being a part of his entourage to tour the Athletes' Village. He was so friendly and was always greeting and smiling at everyone. I was really happy to take a photo with him, too. At the official press conference, the President introduced Miss Annie and I to the media. Later, we were surrounded by the press who interviewed and took many photos of us. I really enjoyed that moment!
My other favourite memory was when Miss Annie and I were followed by reporters from KBS. They were filming us for a segment on KBS World News. They filmed us performing our duties which included interviews with volunteers and OCA officials, taking photographs of sports events and writing articles. We were also interviewed for the official TV documentary on the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. It was great to be in front of the camera (instead of being behind one all the time!).
I was proud to witness my own Malaysian athlete win the bronze medal for the E-Sports game, FIFA 13. I watched the performances of Malaysia's women's Futsal team and Snooker. I also had a chance to meet up and chat with Malaysia's top snooker players, Rory Thor and Mohammad Reza, along with their coach.
It was the first time for me watching Kabaddi and Dance Sport. Kabaddi reminded me of a game I played when I was younger called 'Tag' but kabaddi is more aggressive, albeit it was a lot of fun to watch. I was blown away by the glittering costumes of the dancers at Dance Sport. Their vigorous dance routines were synchronised to perfection and captivated the large crowd of spectators.
Miss Annie and I even took in a tour of the Olympic Park where we took many photos. The 25 year-old flame in this park still burns brightly without ceasing. We then visited the streets of Gangnam City. Unfortunately, we did not meet PSY. (sigh!) The streets of Gangnam reminded me of Bukit Bintang, a shopping haven in Kuala Lumpur.
All in all, the eight days that I've spent in Incheon has been very fruitful. I have learnt a lot about journalism and I am now more knowledgeable about sports writing. My life as a youth reporter is so different from my life as a student back home in Malaysia. I look forward to my next trip back here for the Asian Games in September 2014.
Until then, "gamsahabnida" and "annyeonghi gyeseyo!"
By Jonathan Raj,
OCA Young Reporter, Malaysia