Special Olympics club up for challenge

A member of the Special Olympics Singapore running club, Salihin Sinai (second row, first from right) will run 10km in the ST Run. His volunteer coach, Yeo Jia Chyang (second row, third from right) will be running with the dental technician.
A member of the Special Olympics Singapore running club, Salihin Sinai (second row, first from right) will run 10km in the ST Run. His volunteer coach, Yeo Jia Chyang (second row, third from right) will be running with the dental technician.PHOTO: SPECIAL OLYMPICS SINGAPORE

Day-to-day chores might not come easy to 28-year-old Salihin Sinai, an intellectually-disabled athlete.

But that has not stopped the dental technician from signing up for the Straits Times Run at the Hub for the second straight year.

Said Salihin's volunteer coach Yeo Jia Chyang: "He enjoys running and exercise and sees the ST Run as a challenge to himself.

"He also enjoys the company and camaraderie of fellow athletes and coaches." The two will be running together in the 10km category at the Sept 27 event

Salihin is part of a group of nine intellectually-disabled athletes - members of Special Olympics Singapore's running club - who are taking part in the race.

FRIENDSHIP ROAD

He also enjoys the company and camaraderie of fellow athletes and coaches.''

YEO JIA CHYANG , Salihin Sinai's volunteer coach

Special Olympics Singapore is a non-profit organisation which provides sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Said its volunteer coach Akmal Abdul Rahman: "The athletes look forward to these events as milestones in their training and to (test) their performance under race conditions."

Another plus point - "They also look forward to the social aspect of the event, where they are participating with many other people."

There are three categories in this year's ST Run: 5km, 10km and 18.45km. The 18.45km race is a new feature this year to mark ST's 170th anniversary. The paper was established in 1845.

Last year's ST Run at the Hub saw more than 21,000 participants finish under the National Stadium's iconic dome.

For the intellectually-disabled runners, finishing their race inside the stadium will provide an exhilarating experience.

Said Akmal: "They liked having the race end at the Sports Hub... as it was a new experience for them.

"They definitely had fun running and are looking forward to this year's event."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline 'Special Olympics club up for challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe