Racing for a Cause
This year’s Singapore Challenge incorporated racing for a good cause, making the annual full-day event even more meaningful for its near 1,000 student participants.
Singapore Challenge 2013 got off to a great start on a sunny Saturday morning on 20th July. Close to 1,000 students congregated bright and early at Nanyang Polytechnic to kick off the full-day race across the island. After an exciting cap toss and flag-off, the students were finally off!
Green-shirted youths fanned out across the island in multicultural teams, performing tasks which enable them to discover people, places and practices that define Singapore, visiting some of the island’s most iconic landmarks and solving puzzles to advance in the race.
While racing through various activity stations which included Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Marina Bay, Clarke Quay and Marsiling, the students learned about and experienced several themes that are close to Singapore’s heart, such as Liveable City, a City in a Garden, Diversity, Renaissance City, Social Innovation and Enterprise and The Water Story.
Teams were awarded prizes according to how many points they accumulated through the tasks, as well as on the number of nationalities within each team. Team Sonic Nerds took the prize this year, while three other teams were awarded for having team members of eight different nationalities.
South Korean Mr Kim Duck, 19, a member of Asian Power, one of the other three prize-winning teams, said: “Having eight nationalities did come with its challenges. We come from different cultures and speak different languages, but we were able to overcome these challenges by working together.” His team comprised members from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
The experience of local and international youth racing side by side to discover Singapore is truly at the heart of Singapore Challenge. “SIF brings world communities together to do good, and what better group to start with than our youth,” said Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director, SIF.
“This year, our international friends raced alongside Singaporeans and packed food items for the needy, as well as contributed through art to beautifying our city’s underpass,” she added.
Indeed, Singapore Challenge 2013 participants, in partnership with non-profit arts enterprise Social Creatives, got to paint a mural showcasing Singapore’s heritage and history on the walls of the Coleman Bridge underpass, located between Riverwalk and Central Mall.
For their final task, youth had to pack food hampers and distribute them to over 100 needy beneficiaries at Marsiling. Food items were donated by the youth themselves, as well as SIF staff. The SIF partnered local non-profit Food from the Heart to make this activity come alive.
Near the end of the day, race participants gathered at Republic Polytechnic for the closing and announcement of the winning teams. Teams who demonstrated diversity, either in the number of countries or polytechnics represented, were also awarded prizes.
It was a day filled with camaraderie and discovery for all.
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