Special needs runners enjoy community run with some 2,000 other participants

A community run in Pasir Ris on Sunday, which aims to get residents from all walks of life to participate, saw some 38 residents with special needs join the event.

These runners, who are visually or intellectually challenged, had volunteer guides on hand to assist them as they made their way through the 4km or 14km routes. These guides ran alongside those with special needs to warn them of bends to look out for. Short ropes were also held between volunteers and runners so that the runners would be able to detect the change in direction more easily.

Student Edwin Tan, 20, who is visually challenged and ran the 4km route, said that being able to run with his friends gave him a sense of achievement. He added: "I hope to inspire others... Although I am visually handicapped, I see this as my ability and not a disability."

In total, there were over 2,000 participants at the Passion North East Run held at Pasir Park which was jointly organised by the North East Community Development Council, Pasir Ris-Punggol Community Sports Club and the Punggol Community Sports Club.

Another participant who took part in the 4km run was Ms Zaimoon Isah Mohamed Yussoff, 49, an office assistant who is visually handicapped. "My guide was beside me to tell me whether there's a bump ahead or if there's a slope to look out for," she said.

Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC Mr Teo Chee Hean flagged off the event together with other grassroots advisers including Mayor of the North-East District Teo Ser Luck.