Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Harnessing the power of social media

Young athletes have grown up with social media and our next generation of Olympians and World Champions will have known how to navigate around a smart phone before they could even string a sentence together.

But there's a difference between knowing how to use social media and knowing how to use social media.

What is social media?

An athlete's online profile can be an invaluable self-promotion tool, particularly for those who can't rely on mainstream media – it allows them to bypass news outlets and connect directly with their fans, opening the door for sponsorship opportunities.

But be warned... brand or be branded!

It's up to you to take control of how your social media presence represents you and present yourself in a way that boosts your credibility and your sport. Is the image you want people to have of you, reflected in what is online about you?

Young athletes who aren't educated about their online social life often don't realise the importance of separating their personal profile from their professional profile, especially in the beginning when they don't have a fan base.

But as their professional profile grows, it's important they have a social media plan that considers the image they want to create for themselves versus the image they may be perceived as portraying.

Remember, it only took Stephanie Rice 140 characters on Twitter to lose sponsors, bring her sport into disrepute and bring herself negative publicity. She is not the only athlete to lose income and reputation for posting online.

Your social media presence affects more than just you

What's often forgotten is that your social media reputation affects your relationships with friends and family, teammates, your sporting federation and coaching staff. Strains on any of these relationships are bound to start impacting performance in the sports arena, so if you can't use social media responsibly it might be best to reconsider using it at all. There are plenty of high profile athletes who don't have a social media presence!

However, if you simply can't live without social media, take this one piece of advice: Stop and think before you put your thoughts out there for everyone to read. Before sending, ask yourself some simple questions;
  • Do you know who you are sending it to?
  • Do you know what you will do with it?
  • Do you want it to be around forever?
  • How will it affect your future?
  • If you are frustrated about a situation, take some BIG DEEP BREATHES before posting something about the situation.
  • Be aware of privacy settings of your social network platforms.
  • Ask permission before posting and tagging photos and videos of friends and have security settings that you need to approve any posts or tags you are included in.
  • Only accept friend request from people you ACTUALLY know.
  • Consider creating a website/Fan page for “ Fans” (Fan pages are a great way to interact with your fans, you can link it to your blog so people can follow your season and achievements. It allows you to separate your personal interactions with friends and just promote “you and your sport” – great opportunity for sponsorship)
  • If you are still in doubt… consider – would you want your grandmother to see it?
Final thoughts

Be clear about who you are representing (make it clear that the thoughts you express are your own). Take responsibility – you are responsible for your content. Remember that comments deemed inappropriate in normal conversation are no different in a social media environment. It is important to show respect for the organisations, groups and individuals with which you interact.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Keep fit with Khairy-initiated #FitMalaysia

There’s a new wave sweeping over the local social media scene and it’s called #fitmalaysia.
The initiative, introduced by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin recently, encourages Malaysians to post photos of them working out, on various social media platforms channelled towards the purpose.

According to Khairy, it’s a movement aimed at turning Malaysia into a sporting nation and encouraging Malaysians to live fit and healthy lives, forever.

About time, as we are officially the “heaviest” nation in Southeast Asia – a dubious honour we can live without.

We are even ahead of the populous China, with 49 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men here classified as obese. Recent reports state that two out of five Malaysian adults are overweight.
That is not all. We also have an issue with obesity among children with close to 500,000 young ones aged below 18 found to be overweight, as of 2013.

This may not come as a surprise as we are a nation which loves our food fast, fried and oily.
How many of us can resist a steaming plate of Char Kuey Teow, a mee goreng ayam, a roti canai, or a nasi lemak, any time of the day?

Couple that with a cup of teh tarik or a can of soft drink, and you have the ideal Malaysian meal.
Take Kuala Lumpur for example. You can walk into any 24-hour “mamak” restaurant, say at 2am, and find people feasting on a plate of Nasi Kandar with generous helpings of fried food to go with it.
Such unhealthy eating habits and the almost non-existent awareness of the importance of working out are among factors that had made us the fat country that we are today.

It is a given that being obese alone does not inflict all the damage on a human body. It brings with it illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure, which in turn lead to heart issues and other problems that can turn fatal if not attended to properly.

Perhaps the #fitmalaysia initiative is a step in the right direction, at the right time.

In its Facebook page, #fitmalaysia proclaims “what do you get out of it? A sense of satisfaction that you’re part of the social wave, see how other Malaysians are working out by going through #fitmalaysia hashtags in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and a self-pat on the back”.

Judging by Khairy’s twitter account, the reception to #fitmalaysia is picking up.

He had recently tweeted “#fitmalaysia is about small but real steps. One less ciggie (cigarette), one less the tarik, half portion of rice, take stairs. Start somewhere to succeed.”
Even local celebrities have jumped on the fitness bandwagon.

TV personality Daphne Iking tweeted “Ok shan’t complain about pigging out. Let’s work off those calories!”

Comedian Harith Iskandar said “I b doing my usual my usual 6km run on Tuesday 6pm Damansara Perdana area.”

Coffee joint Quartet in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) also recently joined in the cause by offering free coffee for anyone who can do 20 push-ups.

National badminton superstar Datuk Lee Chong Wei had also endorsed the initiative, tweeting “Don’t settle for less, give it your 200% and you could be no 1.”

Sounds promising thus far, but will it bear fruit in the long run?
Let’s hope that people don’t snap photos of themselves working out just for the sake of getting their faces in the #fitmalaysia social media channels, and then continue to pig out on heart attack inducing oily burgers.

Perhaps Khairy can consider re-introducing the now defunct Rakan Muda initative, started in the 90s, and devise programmes which are physical in nature to attract participation from people of all shapes, sizes and age groups.

While he’s at it, he could also rope in his broad-waist cabinet colleagues to also work out and lead healthy lifestyles so they can lead by example.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thailand Beat Philippines 2-1 In Group A Match

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 (Bernama) - Thailand beat Philippines 2-1 in the opening Group A match of AFF Suzuki Cup Football Championship at Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday night.

The Thais had to wait until the 38th minute to open scoring when striker Jakkapan Pornsai fired a stiff shot after collecting a pass from one of his teammates.

Thailand doubled the score two minutes later when Anucha Kitpongsri deceived two defenders before releasing a strong shot with the left foot to beat Philippines goalkeeper Eduard Ortalla Sacapano.

The Philippines managed to reduce the deficit when Paul Mulders scored in the 76th minute.

Their German coach Hans Michael Wiess was ordered to leave the reserve players bench by the referee in the 81st minute after he threw the ball at an injured Thai player.

The victory enabled Thailand, champions in 1996, 2000 and 2002 to lead Group A closely followed by Myanmar, Vietnam and Philippines.

Earlier, Vietnam and Myanmar drew 1-1 in the other Group A match held at the same stadium.

After this, Thailand will meet Myanmar while Vietnam will play Philippines on November 27.

Both matches will be held in the same stadium.