Record number of 229,661 laps at 9th Safra charity swim

This year's Safra Swim for Hope was held from Oct 10-13.
This year's Safra Swim for Hope was held from Oct 10-13.ST PHOTO: GOH YAN HAN

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

The 47-year-old 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 held from Thursday to Sunday (Oct 13).

A total of 229,661 laps were swum in this year's Safra Swim for Hope held from Thursday to Sunday, breaking 2017's record of around 210,000.

The event is set to be bigger and better next year for the 10th edition, said Senior Minister of State for Defence and Safra president Dr Maliki Osman at the event finale at Safra Tampines on Sunday.

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 on Sunday. They bettered their record last year, when they won the third place 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 after previously having joined the junior category for those aged six to 12 last year. She said she swam 228 laps this year.

Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman presenting the prize to Mr Ong Chin Hwee, 47, and his 10-year-old daughter, Ong Wen Yi, who won 2nd position in the Families for Life category at the Safra Swim for Hope 2019. PHOTO: SAFRA

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 to helping persons with special needs and needy SAF servicemen through the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, Down Syndrome Association and the SAF Care Fund.

This year's event, held at five different Safra clubs, also saw athletes such as national diver Jonathan Chan and para-athletes Chew Zi Ling, Lim Kong Boon and Wong Zhi Wei participate in addition to swimmers from Special Olympics Singapore.


Safra said the Families for Life category was won by Mr Lim Yan Hong and his son, Lim Kiat Yu, 12, who together swam a total of 589 laps.

The Junior category was won by Gabriel Leong Wen Jie, 12, who swam a total of 591 laps.

The Open category was won by Gaytant Stijn Paul A., who swam a total of 1,277 laps, while 15-year-old Jerron Chua Jing Lun swam 1,152 laps to take the third position in the category.

Close to 3,000 regulars and national servicemen from the Republic of Singapore Navy also participated, which is four times the number that did so last year.