McDonald’s three Champions of Play chosen to represent Singapore as “Young Journalists” at London 2012 Olympic Games
Singapore, 28 May 2012
After three months of intense competition since McDonald’s kick-started its search on 1 March 2012, results for the McDonald’s Champions of Play programme were finally announced today. The winners were officially declared this morning at a public event graced by Guest-of-Honour, Madam Halimah Yacob, Minister of State (Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports).
Three young Singaporean emerged winners from amongst the 10 finalists and will join 200 other “McDonald’s Champions of Play” from around the world in London:
Clare CHENG Lin-Yi, 8
She believes that play is not just about fun but it teaches many values too. It has enabled her to make new friends and taught her values of perseverance, determination and good sportsmanship.
Clare wants to be McDonald’s Champion of Play to head to London to meet the many athletes who are her role models. Her favourite athlete is Rafel Nadel because of his strong determination and passion for the sports.
LAU Ywen, 12
She is the current national championship holder for the Singapore Minime Fencing Championships 2011 Girls’ Foil Individuals – Benjamin, as well as the 11th Selangor Open Fencing Championship 2011 - Under 12 Girls Foil Individual Champion. Not stopping at that, she has now challenged herself by picking up another weapon - the sabre and hopes to fence for Singapore at the Olympics.
Ywen wants to be McDonald’s Champion of Play so that she can promote sports and play. She wants to show Singapore what great sport fencing is and show the world what a great country Singapore is.
Sneha SIVAKUMAR, 11
She believes that champions are made and not born, and hence puts in much hardwork and determination in improving herself at squash. She has represented Singapore in international squash tournaments and looks up to Nicol Ann David, currently ranked world number 1 in women’s squash and is the first Asian woman to achieve it.
Sneha wants to be McDonald’s Champion of Play as she enjoys the sports and is confident she can inspire others.
Close to 200 applications were received from children aged 6 to 12 years old. Of these, 10 finalists were identified and members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite champions of play. Over 12,000 sms votes were received and winners were decided based on scores accumulated through the SMS votes (50%) and judges’ decision (50%). The judging panel comprised of representatives from McDonald’s, MediaCorp, Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).
Judy Harman, Managing Director of McDonald’s Singapore, said: “This year, we combined the Olympic spirit with a call for Champions of Play amongst our children to celebrate the Olympic Games and the spirit of Play. We were thrilled to meet so many passionate children in our search for champions to represent Singapore, and were impressed by how the children seriously took on the Olympic values of team work, pride and the journey towards personal excellence. We hope the Champions of Play will continue to be a catalyst for sports and play amongst children in Singapore.”
The winning trio will receive a two-day media skills training session by the Singapore Press Holdings Media Club to prepare them for sharing their Olympic experiences, prior and during the event, with the rest of Singapore. They will be part of the first wave of children from around the world to spend four days in London from 27 to 30 July.
Their stay in London would allow them to witness the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, have premium category access to watch two Olympics events as well as “backstage passes” as they visit the Olympic Park to meet athletes and get autographs or attend the Gold Medal Ceremony at National Olympic Committee House with Olympic Champions. They will also experience London culture on the Double Decker Bus Tour, visiting the London Eye, Tower Bridge and watching the Changing of the Guard. They will report their experiences from a special media centre created for McDonald’s Champions of Play in London.
The Singapore winners will be accompanied by a parent or guardian as well as a McDonald’s representative.
McDonald’s Singapore will also be sending four of its best restaurant staff to the London 2012 Olympic Games to join more than 100 best performing restaurant crew from around the world, to serve the world’s top athletes in the Olympic Village as McDonald’s Olympic Champion Crew.
McDonald’s has been a proud supporter of the Olympic Movement since 1976. The McDonald’s Champions of Play Programme was launched to provide an opportunity for children from all over the world to personally experience the Olympic excitement, to celebrate the importance of play and be inspired by the winning spirit of the Games in ways that connect to the Olympic ideals of teamwork, excellence and being your best.