They may not be able to see the basic colours and shapes around them. But their lack of sight is definitely no barrier to them competing in the Sundown Marathon this year.
These visually handicapped runners, from the Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped, will participate in the race with the help of a sighted guide runner to give them instructions throughout the race. A string will tie the runner and the guide to each other. And yes, they have certainly been training for the Sundown Marathon, religiously and with plenty of heart and dedication.
The Sundown Marathon
Sundown Marathon, organized by HiVelocity, has definitely come a long way, since the inaugural edition of the race, seven years ago. This year, more than 30,000 runners are expected – a far cry from the initial 6,000 runners that registered for the race in its first year.
The four Sundown Marathon charities
The visually handicapped runners are from one of the four charities that Sundown Marathon has tied up with this year – to raise funds for.
The charities are the Life Community Services Society, the Singapore Disability Sports Council, the Handcycling Association of Singapore and the Society for the Physically Disabled. Helping these charities is part of the Sundown Marathon Corporate Social Responsibility programme – entitled Sundown With Love and is now into its second year.
Meeting the Beneficiaries
This morning, the Sundown Marathon Charity Ambassadors got to meet some beneficiaries – organized by HiVelocity.
It was definitely an eye-opener meeting the beneficiaries. While I have read a lot about paraplegic athletes and their achievements, it was really a memorable experience, to see them displaying their sublime skills – before my very own eyes.
For example, players from the disabled football team took part in the drill and circuit exercises and I must say that they were really sensational. Their movements were swift and agile and they were all able to move around rather effortlessly. We were all clapping and grinning for them – when they had cleared all of their obstacles.
According to some of the players themselves, their skills had been achieved through years of practice as they told us they have been doing such exercises religiously for the past four years.
In fact, their confidence in themselves is so great today, that one of the football players even made jokes such as how his friend’s free kicks can match up to those of Robin Van Persie, a star player who currently plies his football trade for Manchester United – in the English Premier League!
To me, this attitude definitely shows their tenacity and determination to excel in their chosen sport and makes me feel really compelled to want to help such athletes like them, by running the Full Marathon at Sundown. I must say that they have a lot of spirit and determination, despite their physical disabilities.
Children from the Life Community Services Society
As well, we played with adorable young children, from the Life Community Services Society – an organization that helps low-income children and underprivileged families in Singapore.
We played interesting rope and cone games – for example, helping the kids to carefully manoeuver around a series of cones.
The children enjoyed themselves so much that they didn’t even want to leave to eat their breakfast!
The kids were really cute, though! But they were shy at first. For example, the children were supposed to pair up with an adult. But I noticed that some groups of three or four were all clinging onto an adult and had to be coaxed into playing the games. Eventually, they warmed up to us and became much chattier.
Surprise Gift Courtesy of Polar
The Charity Ambassadors were given a pleasant surprise. We were each presented with a GPS watch by Polar – one of the sponsors of the Sundown Marathon this year.
This kind gesture really caught me by surprise – and for a moment, I admit that I thought I’d been daydreaming. I had to pinch myself to see that this was really happening!
But now, I can’t wait to try out my shiny white Polar GPS watch and take it out on my next run! Thank you so much, Polar, for the brand new watch!
More on Sundown Marathon
Help these disabled athletes achieve their goals. Donate to the Singapore Disability Sports Council. To do so, click here.
To find out how to get your hands on a brand new pair of Limited Edition, Yet to be Launched New Balance shoes, click here.
To find out more about the Sundown With Love charities and run for a good cause this year, click here.
And to register for the Sundown Marathon, you may do so here.
More Blog Posts
- Click Here to find out more about Sundown Marathon.
- Click Here to read some good tips on how to select shoes, by New Balance, a Sundown Marathon sponsor.
- Click Here to find out what to expect on the day of Sundown Marathon.
- Click Here to find out how to WIN prizes by sharing your Sundown Marathon Race Tips.