What is a Young Ambassador?

Canada’s Young Ambassador, Callum Ng (Vancouver) has heard that question more than once. The program is new and unique to the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. One of only 30 from around the world, Ng and his fellow Ambassadors have the heady responsibility of engaging the athletes to these Games’ Culture and Education Program (CEP) and connecting the general population to the Olympic Values.

Ng has been up to the task, going above and beyond the call of duty.

“I’ve tried to be a supporter and a peer—an experienced peer, but a peer nonetheless,” said Ng. “I wanted to be someone the athletes can trust and hang out with on a personal level.”

Ng has been to nearly every venue at these Games, cheering on Canadian athletes along the way.

“This experience has really touched me. I’ve gone through the highs and the lows with them and I wanted them to see someone post-athletic-career still involved, still excited.”

Ng is no stranger to athletic competition. A former national team swimmer, his time in the pool taught him very important lessons he could use in Singapore.

“I learned to adapt to various situations. It made me more thankful and appreciative of the people who make these events happen. I learned to have an open mind about other people’s daily preparation or their approach to the day-to-day challenges. I’m just more aware of what other people are doing.”

Those lessons also serve Ng in his day job, founding partner of sport marketing firm NG Farrell.

“I’ve always been entrepreneurial and done my own thing,” he said. “Our team is great and supporting me while I get away and do what I’m doing here.”

When these Games fade into history, history will remember the medallists while Ng will remember the people.

“Just being a part of this small group, that is the Young Ambassadors, and sitting around the table laughing, trying to explain something in your own language—looking people in the eye and sharing the same humour and seeing something the same way, regardless of language or backgrounds, is incredible. That’s an honest human experience,” he said.

Ng’s rapport with the athletes has been perhaps his strength in his Young Ambassador role.

“I’ve connected with a lot of athletes and I’m honoured that they’ve respected me enough to allow me into their circles and I just try to bring positivity to them.”