Singapore Children's Society walkathon attracts 6,000 participants, raises $800k

A child taking part in the Singapore Children's Society walkathon at Palawan beach on Sunday, Sept 6, 2015.
A child taking part in the Singapore Children's Society walkathon at Palawan beach on Sunday, Sept 6, 2015. PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Minister Lim Hng Kiang joining the crowd for a mass warm-up before the walkathon begins.
Minister Lim Hng Kiang joining the crowd for a mass warm-up before the walkathon begins.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Minister Lim Hng Kiang flagging off the participants for the 3km walk.
Minister Lim Hng Kiang flagging off the participants for the 3km walk.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Participants posing for a photo during the 3km charity walkathon.
Participants posing for a photo during the 3km charity walkathon.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Participant Loh Kim Lian, 45, high-fiving a student cheerleader during the walk. He has participated in this annual charity walkathon several times.
Participant Loh Kim Lian, 45, high-fiving a student cheerleader during the walk. He has participated in this annual charity walkathon several times. PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - A total of 6,000 people thronged Sentosa's Palawan Beach on Sunday morning for some exercise and to raise money for the Singapore Children's Society.

The 3km annual walkaton raised $800,000 for children, youth and families in need. Participation at the event was free, and the money was raised through sponsorships, pledge cards, sales of carnival tickets and donations.

Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, who was guest-of-honour at the event, flagged off the walk.

One participant, nutritionist Teh Chee Wen, 49, said she heard about the event from a friend. She added: "It's for a good cause, and we get to walk with friends too."

The event, themed Celebrating Childhood! Our Memories, Our Aspirations, was also held in commemoration of the Republic's golden jubilee.

To add to the nostalgic vibe, participants could play traditional games such as chapteh - a game that involves keeping a feathered shuttlecock in the air for as long as possible by kicking it up with the heel of the foot - and zeropoint, a skipping game involving a rope of intertwined rubberbands.

Said Mr Kwek Eik Sheng, alternate governor of Hong Leong Foundation, the event's largest sponsor: "Children are the future pillars of our nation. We just celebrated the country's Jubilee and we hope that by supporting (the society), our younger generation will continue to progress the future of Singapore for many years to come."

Hong Leong Foundation is the charity arm of Hong Leong Group Singapore, which has businesses in property development, hotels and financial services. The group raised about $100,000 for the charity at this event.

Mr Alfred Tan, the Singapore Children's Society's chief executive, said: "We hope that this year's walk will remind us that childhood is a precious journey, and we should ensure that our children have a childhood filled with joy and fun."