70 add weight to raising funds for a good cause

SEVENTY men and women, along with a couple of champion strongmen, will do some heavy lifting for a charitable cause this weekend.

They will take to the floor to perform a mass, synchronised kettlebell lifting exercise - and raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund while at it.

Making an appearance at the Aibi Lifting Lives event are 16-time world champion kettlebell lifter Sergey Merkulin from Russia and Asia's highest-ranking kettlebeller David Devito from Singapore.

Kettlebells, which are hand weights shaped like cannonballs but with handles, are used by sportsmen to build core strength and stamina. They will have a starring role in the event, where those weighing between 8kg and 48kg will be used.

The 70 mass-display lifters will hoist them every eight seconds for half an hour, or up to 225 lifts.

For their efforts, these members of The Playground gym at Horse City in Turf Club Road will rack up between 50 cents a lift - for the lightest kettlebells - and $4 for the heaviest ones.

During the grand finale of the event at the Suntec City atrium at 3pm tomorrow, Mr Merkulin will take centre stage, and lift a pair of 32kg kettlebells at least 100 times.

Fitness equipment maker Aibi will match the donations for every lift, and give the amount, as well as proceeds from the sales of the kettlebells, to the school pocket money fund.

The fund provides financial assistance to some 10,000 students from low-income homes each year by helping to cover their school-related expenses.

Aibi Fitness marketing director Pauline Kwek expects the Kettlebell Lift-A-Thon challenge to raise more than $15,000 for the fund.

She said: 'Aibi is leading the way in the latest fitness trends, and the kettlebell movement is a great example of how we can keep fit and contribute to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.'

Ms Bertha Henson, an associate editor at The Straits Times and organising chairman of the school pocket money fund, said: 'It's such a great idea to bring together a group of fit men and women who can combine exercise with fund-raising.'

To find out more or donate to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, send an e-mail message to stfund@sph.com.sg