|Ser Miang Ng - Vice-President, Singapore NOC and IOC|
|Profile of the week|
Friday, 26 July 2013 14:10
Ser Miang Ng has served as a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 2009 and is a candidate to become the next IOC president in an election to be held at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires on September 10, 2013.
Ng was elected as a member of the IOC in 1998 and was further elected as a member of the IOC Executive Board in 2005.
He is currently chairman of both the Singapore Olympic Academy Board of Governors and Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF) as well as a vice-president of the Singapore National Olympic Council.
Ng has been responsible for bringing a number of events to Singapore, including the 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and 2001 GAISF (SportAccord) Congress.
You are one of six candidates for the IOC presidential role. Are you excited to be in the race and what do the next couple of months hold for your campaign?
It has been a really exciting journey and I am really enjoying it. I started the process about a year ago, by talking to IOC members and seeing what their views were for the future and what they see as the big challenges. It has been an exciting couple of months and the next two months will continue to be interesting as we build up to Buenos Aires.
You will be a very busy man in the next few months. What is the most important aspect of your campaign that you need to get across to IOC members?
The IOC members have read my manifesto and I have given speeches to them. The next two months are a chance to answer whatever questions they may have and whatever concerns they may have.
Can you take me through some of the elements of your manifesto?
I want to build on the strength of what President Jacques Rogge has built and continue to stage wonderful Olympic Games by putting athletes at the top of the agenda. I want to continue to build on gender equality and we certainly need to continue the fight against doping, irregular betting and match-fixing. To me, what is important is to take the Games beyond the event itself. There are 3.5 billion young people, below the age of 25, which is half of the world’s population. We all talk about how the youth are our future, which is fine, but we do not do enough with them now.
Do you think that is a problem just in sport or in society as a whole?
I think it is a general problem but I am also looking at what sport can do. I think sports are very powerful and they can inspire and unite the world. This is something we have to expand. Our base is the youth of the world. Therefore I believe we need a strong and clear strategy for young people. The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is a good initiative from Rogge and we have to continue to build on that because it is inspiring, it is engaging and it is a special platform for the youth. The equal emphasis on sports, culture and education has proven to be unique and a really powerful combination.
Beyond that I believe that we need a strategy that can bring together the strength of all the partners, agencies and governments of the world. Governments can do a lot, including building sport infrastructure, introducing the right sports programmes and policies and making sure there is sufficient time set aside for sports and PE in schools. President Rogge started the Olympic Youth Development centre in Zambia and that has become a great success.
Do you want to see more of these projects and facilities if you were to be elected President?
If I am elected I will look at building ten such centres a year, therefore 80 over eight years. It is very ambitious but it is achievable. I have spoken to a number of foundations in countries where there are huge funds on foreign aid and I have spoken to large companies with strong CSR. They are very prepared to support this and set-aside funds. I believe there will be money out there and financial support for us to fulfill this very ambitious project.
The other part of the manifesto is the Olympic Business Council. We have some of the world’s best companies in our top sponsors and we have some top business people within our membership. If we can draw on the expertise and knowledge of this group of people by forming a council, it will help us to look into governance, structure, business strategies and technology. On the business strategy, we have to ask ‘how do we look at new sources of revenue?’ I am sure that given the right terms of reference we can generate a lot of ideas and models for the International Federations. We have top partners in technology and we must talk to them to engage our target audience, the youth. We can move into a high level of strategic alliance, rather than a matter of taking the sponsorship money. Then we can tap into their resources and reach the young people.
What are the biggest challenges facing the Olympic Movement at this time and how would you overcome them if you are the next President?
Doping is going to be part of our daily basis but I think youth is the most strategic one. There is also the relationship with governments. We are looking at protecting the autonomy and independence of sports organisations like the International Federations, the agencies and ourselves. We want independence but at the same time we must also realise that governments of the world share the same aim of sports and how sports can build health and fitness. This makes a fit and healthy work force. At the same time they realise the power of sport in regards to community bonding and nation building. Look at what happened in this country when Andy Murray won Wimbledon! The spirit of sport is very powerful.
Do you think London 2012 did a good enough job of capturing that spirit?
Yes I think that absolutely. I have been told by many of my friends here that they have never seen an event that can unite the people in such a way.