11-year-old Gladys Goh will be playing a sizeable role in Singapore’s bid to host one of the largest international sporting events, the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010.

Along with 16 other young talents from the sporting arena, the young badminton upstart will be taking on the mantle of Youth Ambassador in Singapore’s race to be the 1st country to host the YOG.

Gladys, the youngest in the field of 17 athletes, told UrbanWire during the launch event at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) that she is “happy to be promoting the sporting event”.

The Kason International (Thailand) 2007 quarter-finalist, who puts in 3 hours of training at the Tampines Sports Hall daily, added, “I will be telling my friends about it and promoting it to my fellow badminton team-mates.”

The 2010 Youth Olympic Games, which will see close to 3,500 international youths coming together to compete for the 1st time in sporting history, will not only boost Singapore’s reputation as an international destination but usher in a new generation of sporting excellence.

Other athletes roped in include Asian Games gold medallist and swimming sensation Tao Li, Singapore’s youngest footballer and Young Lions midfielder Hariss Harun and national triple jump record holder Stefan Tseng.

Selected based on their contributions and achievements in their respective fields, the Youth Ambassadors will be involved in a range of activities to raise awareness for the bid including visits to various schools and institutions.

Mr Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), shared his views with the media, “With the Youth Ambassadors on board, we hope to inspire our young to be excited about the prospect of hosting and participating in the inaugural YOG in 2010.”

Despite having an average age of 17 years among the 17 of them, their experience in their individual sports will be beneficial to Singapore’s efforts in promoting herself as the ideal venue for the games. They will also form the Youth & Athletes Committee, representing the voice of Singaporean youths at the Games.

An avid sportsman himself, Mr Teo, who will be leading the committee, also mentioned that Singapore’s bid will definitely be further enhanced by the insights and ideas put forward by these Youth Ambassadors.

The launch event also saw Mr Teo, accompanied by 10 of the 17 youth athletes, taking a tour around NP’s Lien Ying Chow Library, distributing the ‘I Support Singapore 2010’ badges as part of the publicity campaign.

Singapore, which has been short-listed alongside 4 other cities including Moscow (Russia), Bangkok (Thailand), Turin (Italy) and Athens (Greece), will be hoping to clinch hosting rights to the highlight event on the 2010 sporting calendar when the results are announced in February.

National sailor Griselda Khng, the reigning World Optimist Girls Champion, expressed her thoughts, “If Singapore wins the bid to host the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, it will bring the Olympic spirit to Singapore […], I am looking forward to being part of the excitement that the Games will bring.”