Dad's struggle sparks Sng's Run for Hope support

Track and field finals 28th SEA Games. Singapore's Michelle Sng took the bronze medal in the high jump finals on June 12, 2015.
Track and field finals 28th SEA Games. Singapore's Michelle Sng took the bronze medal in the high jump finals on June 12, 2015. PHOTO: TNP FILE

Christmas is normally a time of joy for families.

However, national high jumper Michelle Sng was in no mood for celebrations last December.

Instead of glad tidings, she had to deal with bad news: Her father, who had been unwell for two years, was admitted to hospital.

He was later diagnosed with colorectal cancer and eventually succumbed to the disease in April.

In memory of her late father, Sng will take part in the 23rd edition of Run for Hope, an annual charity run aimed at raising awareness and support for cancer research at the National Cancer Centre. It will be held on Jan 31 next year at The Promontory @ Marina Bay.

Team Singapore athletes (clockwise from top) Michelle Sng, Calvin Kang, Dipna Lim- Prasad and Shanti Pereira are named as ambassadors for Run for Hope. ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

It will be the first running competition for the SEA Games bronze medallist - who jokingly professed a dislike for running.

Nevertheless, the 28-year-old was inspired to support the cancer survivors and patients - many of whom will be running alongside her at the event - by her encounter with the disease.

  • RUNFOR HOPE 2016

  • Date: Jan 31, 2016

  • Venue: The Promontory at Marina Bay

  • Categories: 3.5km and 10km

  • Register:

She told The Straits Times: "When my father struggled with cancer, the rest of us in the family and our friends also suffered.

"It's meaningful to bring people together to show our collective support and energy."

Sng, who holds the national women's high jump record at 1.84m, will be writing her father's name on her running bib.

She was named yesterday as one of the event's ambassadors, together with her national track and field team-mates Dipna Lim-Prasad, Shanti Pereira and Calvin Kang.

With about 12,000 Singaporeans diagnosed with cancer each year, organisers are hopeful that the same number of people would sign up for the run.

Kang said: "We've been running for our nation, but this will be for a different cause. In our pursuit of excellence, we should not forget what really matters - our families and loved ones."

Lim-Prasad drew similarities between the ongoing work of cancer research development, cancer patients who are battling the illness, and the hard work athletes put in.

She said: "The struggles are almost like taking part in an endurance race. As athletes, we've always tried to push the boundaries, break a record and set a new milestone.

"So we hope that we can help to reach a new milestone for cancer research and treatment too."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2015, with the headline 'Dad's struggle sparks Sng's Run for Hope support'. Print Edition | Subscribe