Blade Runner takes another stab at Everest race

Mr Baey (in yellow) , the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, running with a group that includes "Blade Runner" Mr Shariff, Miles for Good project leader Mr Leong (in orange) and other participants in Tampines Ec
Mr Baey (in yellow) , the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, running with a group that includes "Blade Runner" Mr Shariff, Miles for Good project leader Mr Leong (in orange) and other participants in Tampines Eco Green yesterday.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

This time, para-athlete will join youth to raise funds for children's charity Club Rainbow

He had to give up his bid to become the first athlete with a prosthetic leg to conquer the gruelling Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon last year when the Nepal earthquake struck in April last year.

But para-athlete Shariff Abdullah - Singapore's "Blade Runner" - is taking another stab at the race this year, with another goal to boot.

Together with a group of young people, he hopes to raise $15,000 for Club Rainbow, a charity that helps chronically ill children. His 17-year-old daughter, the youngest of three girls and a Club Rainbow beneficiary, suffers from liver cirrhosis, which leads to the hardening or scarring of the liver.

 
 
 

Flanked by about 90 volunteers, Mr Shariff, 48, led a run for the charity effort at the Tampines Eco Green park yesterday morning, with Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng also joining in.

As part of the Miles for Good movement, participants ran 5km, pledging to donate $1 for every kilometre run, and in turn getting friends or family members to match the amount raised.

Having raised $1,500 so far since the drive started last month, organisers hope to meet the $15,000 target by the end of next month. They will hold two more runs, in the Botanic Gardens and the Central Business District this month and the next.

MIND OVER MATTER

It's going to be a tough run because of the altitude and the difficult terrain. I need to train twice as hard as the able-bodied, but I believe that, with the right mindset, I can do it.

MR SHARIFF ABDULLAH, on the Nepal marathon.

"Shariff had always wanted to give back to the community, but did not have the capacity to do so. We wanted to do something for children, and we thought we could collaborate," said Mr Elson Leong, 26, an entrepreneur who led the project with 15 others who had gone for an Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) course last year.

Mr Baey said their efforts show how experiences like OBS can strengthen teamwork and a sense of social responsibility among youth.

"After spending 21 days together, they formed a special bond, have common interests and faced setbacks together. We hope that this will be something that all young people going through OBS in the future will experience," said Mr Baey, who is Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth.

Last week, the ministry announced that the capacity of OBS will triple by 2020, giving all Singaporean youth a chance to attend an OBS camp while in school.

Meanwhile, Mr Shariff looks forward to planting the flags of Singapore and Club Rainbow at the end point of the Nepal marathon in May.

"It's going to be a tough run because of the altitude and the difficult terrain. I need to train twice as hard as the able-bodied, but I believe that, with the right mindset, I can do it," he said.

To donate to Miles for Good, go to https://give.asia/movement/miles_for_good_run_2016

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2016, with the headline 'Blade Runner takes another stab at Everest race'. Print Edition | Subscribe