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FEATURE: SPORTS MANAGEMENT
CHITON VUONG in Doha,
Qatar; behind is the Khalifa
Stadium used during the 2006
Asian Games that hosted the
athletics, and the opening and
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runs I ndigenous leadership and cultural education programs,
to deliver cultural intelligence sessions to the GC2018 team.
“More broadly, we are working closely with the Yugambeh
Language Group People to respectfully recognise and celebrate
the extensive I ndigenous heritage and culture of the Gold
Coast,” Platts says.
Event organisers, par ticularly at international level, are trying
to ensure their workplaces ref lect and celebrate the diversity
of the people living in the host city. Rio 2016 has outlined a
diversity manifesto that includes a program to place Paralympic
athletes into Rio 2016 corporate roles. While among an intake
of 58 student trainees, there is an even gender split, 25 per cent
had impairments and 46 per cent are black.
After the last Olympics in London, a post-games report
showed that 20 per cent of the paid workforce lived in the areas
surrounding the Olympic Park and one in five came from an
ethnic minority background.
There was also a major focus on inclusion. A guaranteed
inter view scheme for disabled applicants led to more than
2000 disabled people, including volunteers, being placed into
roles during the games. London 2012 partners, contractors
and suppliers were all required to conform to the diversity and
A mix of local and international hires depends on the
host city’s event experience and skills base, says workplace
management consultant Chiton Vuong, who has worked in
Qatar, Azerbaijan, I ndia and Singapore. Travelling event
professionals – whether employed to mentor or “plan and
deliver” – must be flexible and willing to adapt their usual
approach, he says. “That’s the only way that you are going to
build rapport among team members and get them to follow
through with what you need them to do.”
Working and living in new countries is part of the appeal,
but event workplaces can produce unique challenges. After the
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, Vuong travelled to
Qatar to help set up the workforce for the Doha 2006 Asian
Games. The event was the country’s first foray into hosting a
major international multi-sport event. However, the novelty of
bringing the Asian Games to the Gulf was marred by Qatar’s
treatment of the foreign labour workforce it used to build
infrastructure for the games. Qatar has gone on to win hosting
rights for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has been condemned
by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) for
using “modern day slaves” to build venues. The ITUC estimates
that 7000 foreign workers will die before the first ball is kicked
Despite the bad publicity, Vuong says Qatar enticed event
professionals from around the world to create a diverse
workforce. However, it meant that meetings might be held
in English, Arabic or even Greek. Vuong says translation
“EXPATS ARE RECRUITED BASED
ON THEIR EXPERTISE, BUT SOME
LACK THE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
OR KNOWLEDGE TO WORK IN A
CHITON VUONG, WORKPLACE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
15/04/2016 3:28 pm
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