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September 26, 2017 Tuesday | Last updated on 26/09/2017 11:47AM (Singapore)
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Home / HT FEST 2017 / Every Role Counts: Hugs From a Dragon  
Published: 06 Jul 2017 11:09AM (Singapore)
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Every Role Counts: Hugs From a Dragon
Home Team News’ very own mascot Teddy the Dragon made an appearance at the recent Home Team Show and Festival 2017. The people who donned the costume share their thoughts on bringing joy to children and adults alike while playing Teddy.
By Jaiesh Sachi

Visitors to the Home Team Show and Festival (HTSF) 2017 would have been greeted with an unusual sight - a large, bright green and extremely friendly dragon.

Teddy the Dragon has been Home Team News’ unofficial mascot since his inception in the book “Searching for Officer Joey”.

Who are the ones bringing Teddy to life? Our very own Home Team News interns - Mr Zavier Low, 20, Mr Firdaus Jupri, 19 and Mr Dylan Chia, 18. Learning how the suit fits together and how to put on the suit proved to be a challenging and memorable experience for the three.

Teddy making his debut appearance at the HTSF 2017. PHOTO: Aizil A.Rahim

“I volunteered to play Teddy because I wanted to have the novel experience of donning a mascot costume. Putting on the four parts of Teddy (the head, torso, legs and feet) was a bit difficult for me because I’m quite tall but the experience was interesting,” said Zavier.

Everywhere Teddy went, Teddy was sure to pull in a crowd –mingling, posing for photos and bringing laughter and joy to the children, parents and festival attendees.

Teddy hugging children during the HTSF. PHOTO: Lynn Hong

“My first impression of the Teddy costume was that it looked really friendly and gave off fun vibes. It was such a joy to see how the kids really loved hugging Teddy and ‘hi-fiving’ him,” Firdaus said.

Adding to the challenge of donning the suit was the warm weather. Each volunteer was limited to two shifts of 45 minutes each day.

Teddy with one of the other Home Team Ambassadors. PHOTO: Lynn Hong

“We could only walk around two zones of the HTSF during each shift because the weather was very hot and by the end of our shifts, we were always drenched in sweat, but seeing how happy the kids were really made my day,” said Dylan.

Given the size and weight of the Teddy costume, each time Teddy went out, he was guided along his route by other Home Team News crew who also helped with crowd control and making on-the-spot fixes to the costume.

Home Team News crew members getting Teddy ready for the next shift. PHOTO: Zavier Low

“There isn’t much visibility from inside the costume so my colleagues had to hold Teddy’s hand and guide me along. Teddy also has quite a long tail and I actually bumped into a few people, but they didn’t mind and some even laughed,” said Firdaus with a smile.

At the end of each shift, a team effort involving other Home Team News crew was required to help remove the costume and sanitise it for the next volunteer. It was a fulfilling task that involved plenty of sweat and effort, and a huge dose of joy.

The three Home Team News crew members behind Teddy. ( From left) Firdaus Jupri, Dylan Chia and Zavier Low.PHOTO: Charmaine Tan

“What was really rewarding about being Teddy was making people smile. Seeing the happy smiles on the kids’ faces was really amazing. I hope that the HTSF attendees not only learnt more about the Home Team but also saw a different side of the Home Team through Teddy,” said Zavier.

Find out more about the unique roles our Home Team Officers played during the Home Team Show and Festival 2017.

1) Every Role Counts: Firefighter by Day, President’s Buggy Driver by Night

2) Every Role Counts: From the Frontlines to the Stage

3) Every Role Counts: Baking with a Purpose

4) Every Role Counts: President for the Day

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More Home Team Show and Festival 2017:
Every Role Counts: President for the Day
Every Role Counts: Baking with a Purpose
Every Role Counts: From the Frontlines to the Stage
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