New race aims to promote volunteerism

07 July, 2015   Sport Singapore

The first of its kind Pair-a-thon 2015 will be held on Sunday 12 July at East Coast Park where volunteers will pair up with disabled runners in completing a three kilometre race.

The run consists of three segments, a three legged race, a blind run and a pair event, and will host competitors from Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and Disabled People’s Association among others.

"Beneficiaries will be running alongside student volunteers from various tertiary education institutes like Junior Colleges and Polytechnics," said Mah Bin Sing, chairperson of the NTU Welfare Services Club (NTUWSC) which organised the event.

"Basically these students are first timer volunteers who haven't tried volunteering before. They are from clubs such as paddlers club or some sports club, but they haven't had a chance to try volunteering." 


Volunteers trying out the blind run during a rehearsal. Photo: NTU Welfare Services Club

Running events are a dime a dozen these days, but this particular run with a social slant where first time volunteers get to interact directly with the disabled are few and far between.

"They maybe had a gap in this volunteering that they wouldn't step out of because they are worried that beneficiaries might be a bit special and it’s very hard to handle them," he added.

"So we are trying to bridge this gap and we want to promote interaction."

Previous events organised by NTUWSC were closed door to volunteers and various beneficiaries but they hoped by reaching out to the public this time, they would be able to create more awareness.

The idea for the blind run was inspired by RunningHour where participants ran alongside the disabled.

"We kind of took that idea, so that segment would be more to let people feel more about visually handicapped – what challenges they face everyday, how they move about and how they really need help," Mah said.