Roundtable & Lecture on Sport and Diplomacy
Date : 11 Dec 2017
Time : 16:00 - 19:00
Venue : National Gallery Singapore
The Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium (Basement 1)
1 St. Andrew's Rd, Singapore 178957
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This event is being held in conjunction with the Conference on "Golden Games: Sport and Diplomacy in East Asia and Beyond (11-12 December 2017), jointly organized by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and Yale-NUS College, with support from SOAS, University of London, UK.


3:30 pm – Registration
4:00 pm – Practitioners’ Roundtable by various panellists
5:30 pm – Tea Reception
6:00 pm – Lecture by Margaret Timmers on "Heralding the Games: The Evolution of Olympic Posters"
7:00 pm – End

J. Simon Rofe
| SOAS University of London, UK (Chairperson)
Nicholas Aplin | National Institute of Education, Singapore
Rohit Brijnath | The Straits Times, Singapore
Isao Okada | Mainichi Shinbun (Mainichi Newspaper), Japan
Matthew Oakley | Asia Ruby, Singapore

This practitioners roundtable brings together a group of practitioners of Sport and Diplomacy including those from the worlds of education, journalism, and sports administration - both locally/regionally and internationally. It will be an opportunity for the public to engage in a broad ranging discussion of the many different dimensions of Sport and Diplomacy. We will address questions which explore the relationships between sport and diplomacy, and particularly with a focus on Singapore's experience in local and international realms.

Margaret Timmers
| Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK

This talk will explore the role of Olympic posters as a means of communication for the modern Olympic Games, heralding the event, and shaping audience expectations. It will show how these posters also offer host venues a prime opportunity to project themselves favourably onto the international stage, sometimes even helping to create an identity for a place, or to bring a lesser known venue to global attention. Altogether, the talk will illustrate that as periodic snapshots through time, Olympic posters provide a fascinating historic record – a visual document of sport and art, politics and place, commerce and culture.


J. Simon ROFE is the inaugural director of CISD's Global Diplomacy Masters programme (Distance Learning). Prior to joining SOAS he was Senior Lecturer and Director of Distance Learning Director in the Department of Politics and International Relations, and Centre for American Studies at the University of Leicester. He has previously held positions in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London at UK Defence Academy; in the American Studies Department at Canterbury Christ Church University; the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Simon is the co-editor of Bloomsbury's Key Studies in Diplomacy book series, and a member of the Editorial Board of Diplomatic History.

Nicolas Aplin has been lecturing in PE and Sport in Singapore since 1985. His first book “To The Finishing Line” was published in 2002. In 2005, he was the lead author of the first complete profile of Singaporean sportsmen and women to participate at the Olympic Games – “Singapore Olympians: The Complete Who’s Who 1936-2004.” Dr Aplin has been engaged in local television commentary work since 1997, including events such as the SEA Games, the Champions League and the S.League. He has covered sports such as football, rugby, badminton, table tennis, squash, swimming, dancesport, silat, boxing and netball. In 2010, he was a lead commentator for the local cable TV network coverage of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games hosted by Singapore. In 2015, he commentated on the ASEAN Paralympic Games hosted by Singapore.

In 31 years of sportswriting, Rohit Brijnath has covered the Olympics, Asian Games, cricket World Cups,  tennis Grand Slams and written for newspapers in India and Australia and also for the BBC South-Asia website. He is currently an Assistant Sports Editor with The Straits Times, Singapore. He has co-authored a book with Abhinav Bindra, the shooter who won India's only individual Olympic gold, and has written a children's book in rhyming verse with Paralympic gold medallist Yip Pin Xiu. He is happiest when visiting bookshops and also runs very slowly in his spare time.

Isao Okada is Senior Staff Writer at the Mainichi Newspapers (Japan). In the 2007-2008 academic year, he was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. Awarded by the Abe Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, he researched the post-game use of Olympic venues as a visiting scholar both at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute and Said Business School, University of Oxford in 2016-2017. In his 29-year career at Mainichi he has specialized in economics, cultural activities, and sports business. He published the book, “Meja-rigu Naze Moukaru (Why Is the MLB so Lucrative?)” in 2010. His education includes a B.A. in law from Soka University (Japan) and a M.A. in International Economics and Finance from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

Matthew Oakley, a former British diplomat with 21 years’ global, foreign affairs experience who decided in 2004 to change careers for the 2nd half of his working life and make his home in Singapore to pursue a future in business and continue his then international rugby refereeing opportunities across Asia. Since 2009, when he retired from refereeing, Matt has secured various Administrator roles in Asia with the governing body for Rugby globally, World Rugby and latterly its Regional Association, Asia Rugby. From 2009-12 he was World Rugby’s West Asia Project Manager based in Dubai, helping to create National Governing Bodies for Rugby across the Middle East and implementing a governance restructuring project to complement Rugby’s readmission into the Olympic programme. His current role, operating from Singapore, is as Consultant Strategy & Development Advisor to and its 30 member unions in the build up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Margaret Timmers was formerly Senior Curator of Prints and the Book at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where she specialised in twentieth century prints, designs and posters. She now works at the V&A as a Consultant Curator, developing the UK Subject Specialist Network for Posters and organising associated conferences and events related to the subject of the poster. Margaret is the author of A Century of Olympic Posters (V&A 2008, revised ed. 2012), and curated the accompanying V&A exhibition which opened in Beijing in 2008 and travelled internationally (including to Melbourne and Mumbai), as well as to venues in the UK during the run-up to London 2012. She devised and edited The Power of the Poster (V&A 1998) and curated the accompanying V&A major exhibition. She also curated Political Posters from Eastern Europe and the USSR (V&A 1990) featuring posters she gathered on the spot in 1989 and ’90, Propaganda Posters from the Schreyer Collection (V&A 2003) celebrating the gift of a large private American collection, and Getting the Message Across, a V&A/Arts Council UK touring exhibition of political posters (2004). Her other publications include The Way We Live Now: Designs for Interiors 1950 to the Present Day (V&A 1978) and (ed.) Impressions of the Twentieth Century: Fine Art Prints from the V&A Collection (V&A 2001).


Admission is free, and seats are available on a first come, first served basis. We would greatly appreciate if you click on the "Register" button above to RSVP.

Contact Person(s)
Valerie YEO