Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong ran a half-marathon relay for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon’s (SCSM) Race As One live show, on Saturday (5 Dec).
The annual SCSM, which attracts 50,000 runners each year, was conducted as a virtual race using augmented reality (AR) technology this year given COVID-19 restrictions.
Leading teams of five that faced off against one another, Mr Tan and Mr Tong raced on treadmills this year to raise funds for the Community Chest. Mr Tan documented the race on social media and said that he and Mr Tong “survived” doing their bit for charity.
About 11,400 runners took part in the hybrid race, alongside the ruling party politicians. The participants were allowed to complete the relay at a location of their choosing and had to record each kilometre they completed.
For every one kilometre recorded by participants, Standard Chartered pledged to donate S$15 to help youth causes in Singapore. The target for the charity event was S$1 million, with funds being channelled through the Community Chest towards multi-year programmes held in partnership with the National Council of Social Service network members.
On how sports event have transformed amid the coronavirus crisis, Mr Tong told the Straits Times: “Covid-19 has changed the way sports events are organised.
“Through technology, we can…(give) participants a more engaging and interactive experience within safety guidelines. For example, digital technologies can provide real-time feedback to participants, complementing social and entertainment elements of a sporting activity.”
While Mr Tong hopes such sports projects can gain greater traction in Singapore and abroad, he added that the authorities are working on bringing back more sporting events for citizens. He said:
“As many Singaporeans are eager to participate and enjoy sports events, we are working towards resuming more large-scale events in a safe manner.”