'Slipper race' gets participants moving and thinking about Total Defence

More than a thousand participants came together on Saturday afternoon for the fourth edition of an annual 'slipper race' held to raise funds for disadvantaged children here and abroad.

This year's 3.6km-long race, organised by local non-profit organisation Project Happy Feet, is a special tie-up with the ongoing 30th Total Defence Campaign. It involved more than 420 students from 22 schools - the biggest number since the event started - and 10 water polo athletes from Team Singapore.

The slipper race, which has a $35 registration fee, was held at Fort Canning Park for the first time to expose participants to war sites in the area, said one of its founders Mr Terence Quek, 39.

"It's about getting Singaporeans together to help the underprivileged raise funds for their education, and I think that contributes to social defence," he said.

While the race may fall short of its initial targets to draw 2,500 contestants and raise $100,000, he and his founding partner Ms Deborah Chew, are not deterred.

"We just want to raise awareness and hope to do our best."

The race beneficiaries include needy children in Cambodia and special education students on the Financial Assistance Scheme here, like Grace Orchard School student Nur Shafiqah Muhammad Rafid, 14, who has mild intellectual disability.

More than 2,000 of such students receive entitlements like meal vouchers, school fee and enrichment lesson waivers, and free books and uniforms from the scheme.

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