Father-daughter pair swim 393 laps for a good cause

Safra president Maliki Osman presenting a hamper yesterday to Mr Ong Chin Hwee and his 10-year-old daughter Wen Yi, who finished as runners-up in the Families for Life category of the Safra Swim for Hope event.
Safra president Maliki Osman presenting a hamper yesterday to Mr Ong Chin Hwee and his 10-year-old daughter Wen Yi, who finished as runners-up in the Families for Life category of the Safra Swim for Hope event.PHOTO: SAFRA

National servicemen and their families, athletes raise $178k at four-day charity swim

His two children love swimming, so real estate agent Ong Chin Hwee, 47, saw Safra's annual charity swim as a good opportunity to bond as a family and also contribute to a good cause.

He and his younger daughter Wen Yi, 10, took part in the Families for Life category for the second year in a row at the Safra Swim for Hope. The four-day event was held from last Thursday and ended yesterday at five Safra clubs.

More than 229,000 laps were swum this year, breaking 2017's record of around 210,000 laps.

For next year's 10th edition of the event, it is set to be bigger and better, said Senior Minister of State for Defence and Safra president Maliki Osman at the event finale at Safra Tampines yesterday.

He said: "We hope to bring in more partners to be able to do more work for charity."

Mr Ong and Wen Yi plan to take part again next year, after snagging the runners-up prize yesterday.

They bettered their record last year, when they were placed third in the same category. This year, they swam 393 laps over three days, for about two hours each day. Each lap is 50m.

 

"It was tiring but I just kept swimming," said Wen Yi.

Her elder sister Min Yi, 13, took part in the open category and said she swam 228 laps. She had joined the junior category for those aged six to 12 last year.

Over 4,200 national servicemen and their families took part in this year's edition of the event, raising about $178,000.

The funds raised will go towards helping people with special needs and needy Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) servicemen through the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Down Syndrome Association and the SAF Care Fund.

This year's event also saw participation from athletes such as national diver Jonathan Chan, para-athletes Chew Zi Ling, Lim Kong Boon and Wong Zhi Wei, as well as swimmers from Special Olympics Singapore. Close to 3,000 servicemen from the Republic of Singapore Navy also participated, which is four times that last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2019, with the headline 'Father-daughter pair swim 393 laps for a good cause'. Print Edition | Subscribe