S'poreans step up to charity challenge

Flag-off of the 3M Step-Up challenge at OCBC Square in Singapore Sports Hub.
Flag-off of the 3M Step-Up challenge at OCBC Square in Singapore Sports Hub. ST PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI

People were jumping, stepping and even climbing at OCBC Square at the Singapore Sports Hub last Friday. But it was no competition - every tread and every bounce was made in the name of charity.

Among the 1,000 participants at 3M's Step-Up Challenge that day was 10-year-old Marcus Chong from Bedok Green Primary School who gamely sprang on trampolines, tackled aerobic steppers and climbed 45 steps several times.

Participants from over 20 organisations stepped up to the technology company's charity challenge, which aims to turn exercise into household hampers for 5,000 needy families and the elderly in the South East District.

The firm and the South East Community Development Council are collaborating for the first time with GetActive!, a programme launched in May which aims to rally Singaporeans to do some good through sports to celebrate National Day.

3M's Step-Up Challenge hopes to raise over $250,000 worth of products by gathering 17 million steps.

For instance, one 3M product will be donated for every 500 steps or jumps. The products include items like N95 masks, Scotch-Brite scrub sponges, bathroom and kitchen cloth, hooks, cleaners and Scotch kitchen scissors.

The challenge - 3M's fourth - was launched last Friday by Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and Mr Arthur Fong, managing director of 3M Singapore.

The fitness and charity initiative hopes to get more than 25,000 people moving for a good cause from now until Aug 31.

This year, the challenge includes jumping on trampolines and rock climbing - 3M will donate one product for every successful rock climb. In addition, 5 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of 3M products at FairPrice stores will go towards the hampers.

Mr Fong said: "It's a significant year for 3M as we commemorate 50 years of improving lives in Singapore. With our challenge, we hope to engage more partners, interest groups and the community to keep fit and do good through creative ways."

The project got the thumbs up from Primary 4 pupil Marcus, who said: "I'm really happy as I got to help the needy and the elderly through something fun and enjoyable."

Members of the public can join in the project at several roadshows across Singapore.

More information can be found on the project's website: singapore.3m.com/step-up2016

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'S'poreans step up to charity challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe