Fitness first for firm with biggest contingent at ST Run

Pon Asia president Sim Bee Lim (front, left) and vice-president Quek Boon Sing (front, right) with employees of their company who are participating in the ST Run on May 22. With more than 120 sign-ups, the company is currently the largest contingent
Pon Asia president Sim Bee Lim (front, left) and vice-president Quek Boon Sing (front, right) with employees of their company who are participating in the ST Run on May 22. With more than 120 sign-ups, the company is currently the largest contingent at the run.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

When more than 120 Pon Asia employees take part in the ST Run on May 22, it will not be their first group fitness activity.

Under the firm's Pon Fit scheme, introduced last October, employees regularly take part in fitness activities and classes, from bowling to futsal. They also attend healthy living seminars and free health checks.

The scheme was set up in conjunction with the Health Promotion Board, which provides funding for initiatives such as Pon Fit, and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

The ST Run was the perfect opportunity for Pon Asia, which was looking to participate in something beyond its own programmes. With more than 120 sign-ups, the holding company, which has subsidiaries in heavy industry and oil and gas, among others, is currently the biggest single contingent at the ST Run.

About a third of its participants are family members of employees.

IT'S ABOUT HAVING FUN

The good thing about the ST Run is that it is open for everyone to join. It is not like... a marathon, which is more challenging and has a competitive element. This run is more about having fun and spending time with their families.

MR SIM BEE LIM, president of Pon Asia.

Pon Asia president Sim Bee Lim pointed to features such as the post-race carnival, which made the ST Run attractive to employees.

"The good thing about the ST Run is that it is open for everyone to join," he said. "It is not like... a marathon, which is more challenging and has a competitive element. This run is more about having fun and spending time with their families."

Pon Asia, which has more than 400 employees, subsidised half of the registration fees for both employees and their family members.

One employee who has reaped the benefits of its promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle is human resource manager Hazel Koh. She takes part in zumba classes and intends to join a kick-boxing course. "I did not exercise much in the past, so this programme has helped me to become more active and keep fit."

Mr Sim said: "Behind every successful business is a group of healthy people. A healthy person, both mentally and physically, is more motivated, more productive, and better equipped to handle situations."

•Corporate packages with attractive discounts, depending on the number of runners, are available. For details, call Infinitus Productions on 6248-5777.

•Register for the ST Run at www.straitstimesrun.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'Fitness first for firm with biggest contingent at ST Run'. Print Edition | Subscribe