Close to 1,600 participants took part in the second edition of the Singapore Kindness Run last Sunday, which featured a new 3.5km Fun & Inclusive Run segment presented by SportCares.
(From left to right) SportCares Volunteer Sri Ram Naidu; Sport Singapore Deputy CEO Chiang Hock Woon; and SportCares Assistant Director Brendon Yam flagging off the runners. Photo: Sport Singapore
The run was the first mass event that SportCares has officially partnered with a Run Organiser. Around 20 SportCares youth volunteered their time to help out at the event, and around 200 persons-with-disability (PWD) from organisations such as Pathlight School, Friends of Autism, and Special Olympics, were invited to join the run.
Kerk Kim Por, Director, SportCares Foundation, was impressed with the run’s main purpose of encouraging a kinder and more gracious running experience when it was first held last year, and spearheaded SportCares’ collaboration with the Singapore Kindness Movement this time round.
He shared: “With this opportunity, we got our youth involved, to learn how to be kind in their daily activities, and particularly during runs. We also invited our partners, which are mainly from the persons-with-disability (PWD) community, to let them enjoy a day out.”
“Kindness is in the small things that you do, how we spare a thought for others. This is what we hope the [participants and volunteers] take away,” he continued.
As preparation for the run, the SportCares youth received training from the Singapore Kindness Movement to learn the ropes of being a Kindness Ambassador, and what they should be looking out for when volunteering at the run.
“We learned about how to encourage the runners to finish the race, [maintain] safety, and ensure the runners didn’t block each other,” said 17-year-old Andrian Putra, Saturday Night Lights footballer and SportCares youth volunteer.
Andrian Putra (in red), Saturday Night Lights footballer and SportCares youth volunteer, giving out fruits during the event. Photo: Sport Singapore
Andrian, along with his team mates from Assumption Pathway School, were at the Fruit-It-Forward Fun Zone handing out apples and bananas to runners passing by.
“This is my first time [volunteering at a run and] that’s why it all [feels] very new! It’s quite fun, and it’s great to see everyone smiling,” he expressed.
For participants like Joseph Lim and his family, the smiles from the volunteers also helped to brighten their experience. The 43-year-old father elaborated: “They were fantastic! I kept saying ‘thank you’, [because] I think a simple gesture like that, makes them feel good.”
Along with his wife, daughter, and his son, who was diagnosed with autism, the family were among the participants sponsored by SportCares for the inclusive 3.5km fun run.
Joseph Lim and his family. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Waking up at 5.30am [was] worth it! I saw a lot of people really not going for the win, but cheering for each other. I think it is really making our society very gracious, [and] it’s part of the education that schools cannot teach,” Lim added.
Besides PWDs and their families, SportCares also sponsored Running Hour, an inclusive running club that centered on providing running buddies to people with special needs.
One of the runners from the club, Saber Wong, said: “I think happiness is the best reward, [and] watching them [participants with special needs] smile makes us very happy.”
“As long they enjoyed the run, that’s all that matters!” she continued.
It was clear that everyone had a memorable time at the Singapore Kindness Run 2018, which was certainly good news for both SportCares and the Singapore Kindness Movement.