More than 2,000 participants gathered at Bishan Stadium earlier this evening to participate in Run For Inclusion 2018 – the only integrated race in Singapore where participants are challenged alongside visual, intellectual, physical, hearing and mental health. Organized by Runninghour, the fourth edition of the race was honored by guest-of-honor Mrs. Denise Phua, mayor, Central Singapore CDC and MP for Jalan Besar GRC.
Spread over both Bishan Stadium and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, members of the public joined 571 Persons With Special Needs (PWSN) – a growing number since Runninghour & # 39; s first event in 2015.
The race was started by the non-competitive Junior Hand Cyclists of Para Cycling Federation of Singapore (PCFS). They are part of the many groups with PSWN that participated in Run For Inclusion 2018, alongside the Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH), Pathlight School, Rainbow Center and more.
As in previous years, Runninghour expanded free slot machines for all participants with special needs to encourage them to participate in the fun. This year, the number of free slots in 2017 increased to 1,000 from 500, including more healthcare providers. In each lock, one caregiver can supervise the PWSN – nearly 300 caregivers took part in Run For Inclusion 2018 this year, compared to 30 last year.
Empathy Run Segment
This year's run marked the debut of the Empathy Run segment, encouraging participants to face hearing, physical, sensory and visual challenges to experience PWSN's difficulties:
- Autism Challenge – Participants had to go through an experience with sensory tunnels, filled with bright lights and loud noises. This challenge meant that certain people with autism could be sensitive to light and sound
- Cerebral palsy challenge – Participants had to run or walk about 40 meters. This challenge encouraged empathy for individuals who have to deal with movement problems on a daily basis
- Hearing challenge – Participants had to put on a pair of earplugs to walk or run 700 meters. This challenge allowed participants to experience what it is like to be hearing impaired
- Mental Health Challenge – Participants held a rope and ran or walked over the race track for 300 meters. This challenge meant the importance of acceptance, camaraderie and encouragement that recovering psychiatric patients need to support their recovery process
- Visual challenge – Participants had to mate and walked in turns with a blindfold. This challenge encouraged empathy for visually impaired individuals
To close the event, guides and members of special needs of Runninghour have put together performances to amuse the crowd throughout the evening. This included a vocal performance by Clarissa Lin of Delta Senior School and Kiefer and Sarhan of Metta School, who sang an original song composed by Sarhan, which won a consolation prize at the Singapore Youth Festival 2018.
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