Brains, Brawn And Heart! Singapore MBAs Raise Funds for Special Olympics

Teams from all of Singapore's major business schools competed to raise funds for the charity, which helps disabled athletes, at the Nanyang 2012 MBA Olympics

The Nanyang MBA community recently held its 2012 Nanyang MBA Olympics, a joint effort between the school's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Women in Business Clubs, to raise funds for the Singapore Special Oympics Charity.

The aim of the event each year is to bring together the Singapore MBA community to raise funds for a cause. This year’s recipient was the Special Olympics Singapore, a charity which empowers disabled individuals through sports training and competitions.

The event was held at the Nanyang Technical University Sports Centre and over a hundred MBA students from INSEAD, National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, ESSEC and Nanyang faced off in Futsal and 3-on-3 Basketball.

Eric Oandasan, co-chair of Nanyang’s CSR club, reported that “INSEAD’s powerhouse of athletes dominated the basketball tournament, brandishing their unified, green-colored, Bain & Co.-sponsored jerseys”.

The futsal tournament was closer, with National University of Singapore eventually beating the rest through coordinated teamwork and carefully placed shots. ESSEC’s futsal athletes were, for Eric, the team who displayed great playing technique and won most of their games despite having a significantly smaller team compared to the other schools.

The MBA Olympics also held Captain’s Ball and Dodgeball games at the indoor courts, to cater to players who want to try alternative, more “casual” sports. Captain’s Ball was a particular favorite for the local Singaporeans, many of whom hadn't played the playground sport since their childhood days.

Dodgeball, on the other hand, seemed like a new sport to the players, as most of them had only seen it through the popular Ben Stiller comedy movie!

After the tournament, a special futsal exhibition match was held with the Special Olympics athletes. Participants from the various MBA schools formed a team to match up with the highly trained Special Olympics athletes.

“The friendly game provided the participants with a fun way to interact with the kids, as well as awareness about their talents and dedication to sports competition. In fact, a lot of the MBA players were quite impressed with the skill level of these young talents amidst their disabilities”, says Eric.

The day ended with an informal dinner at the NTU Executive Center. While the exhausted participants enjoyed refreshments and generous helpings of food, representatives from the Special Olympics Singapore held a short presentation to tell the attendees more about their cause.

“Taking one day off from my studies to enjoy the company of people from the various schools was brilliant!”, says Justus Kaiser, Vice President for NTU’s Business Clubs.

While the event was a welcome break for the MBA students, USD $11, 000 was raised in aid of the charity!

NTU Associate Professor Lai Hong, who opened the day's proceedings, summed it up saying, “I see the MBA Olympics, where we have teams from the various MBA programs in Singapore competing, collaborating, and caring about the Special Olympic beneficiaries, as an example of passion to make a positive influence in the wider community.

"I am delighted to see so many aspiring MBAs who not only have the brains and the brawn, but also the heart to come together in support of the event.”

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Photo Credits: Mol Olarikovit, Ralph Camus, Filda Yusgiantoro, Eric Oandasan, Charlotte Kong, Megan Chan

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