Working out for a cause

This September, why not grab an enriching workout with these two youth-led events?

Wan Munirah

Published: 18 September 2015, 12:00 AM

If you are looking for fun ways to stay healthy, consider these upcoming events that are entirely run by youths. The best part, you get to support social causes at the same time.

The inaugural Run For Autism 2015, which will take place on Oct 4, was initiated by a team of eight National University of Singapore (NUS) students, who bonded over their six-month internship at Pathlight School last year.

As they prepared teaching materials for, and interacted with, the students during their internship, the team developed a special spot for them and wanted to do more. “There is a lack of awareness, especially among young Singaporeans, about people with special needs and how the community can address them,” said 20-year-old Hsu Jing Yi, a member of the organising team.


Pei Ling (left) and Jing Yi (right) from the organising team for Run For Autism 2015.


Jing Yi, a second year liberal arts student at Yale NUS, added: “When you work with students with autism, you really need to put in time and effort. Even for us, what we achieved with the students is not substantial. You can’t just work for six months and leave, and expect yourself to make a tremendous change.”

Together with World Autism Awareness (WAA) in Singapore, the team organised Run For Autism (RFA), to inspire people to be involved in the local autism community.


Just two days ago, the team closed registrations after receiving over 300 sign-ups for the run.


Highlights of the event include a 5km experiential fun run and an exhibition that features student artworks from local autism schools and centres. Volunteering opportunities from special schools organisations, including Pathlight School, will be offered as well.

Planning for the inaugural run was challenging for the team, who juggled event preparations with their freshman year.

Since they developed the idea for the event last August, they have had meetings every week and made several revisions before their final proposal.

It was also difficult finding volunteers for their event day. Nonetheless, they managed to recruit over 100 volunteers for duties like water points and marshalling—by spreading the word via WhatsApp.

With less than a month to go to RFA, both Pei Ling and Jing Yi are optimistic about their upcoming event and hope to expand it after assessing its success and impact.

RFA is not the only workout with a cause. Operation Broken Wing (OBW), which is run by youths in the CrossFit community, will take place tomorrow.


Lionel and Ashlynn are organising this year’s OBW, which is held at *SCAPE.


The annual event, which is into its fifth year, aims to help CrossFitters use their fitness for a good cause while helping to raise funds for youths at risk.

This year’s event, which is set to be the largest charity event organised by the CrossFit community, is organised by Lionel Choong, 26, the director of Innervate Crossfit.

The event will bring together 190 athletes from 10 different boxes (CrossFit gyms) to raise funds for Reach Community Services and youths at risk.

Athletes taking part are challenged do as many repetitions of five movements in a span of 17 minutes. Pledges from their friends and families increase with every rep that they successfully complete. Some of the youth beneficiaries will be participating in the workout as well.

Lionel added: “It feels more genuine because… the athletes really go out of their way, do their and homework and look out for sponsors. That is what, truly, fitness is all about.”

Co-organiser Ashlynn Chen, 21, from Crossfit Singapore added: “It’s kind of different from any other event that I’ve planned for, because there’s actually a goal that we are working towards… It changes the whole process and you really put your heart into it.”

Come cheer CrossFitters on as they sweat it out for a good cause tomorrow, 10am, at *SCAPE.

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