SINGAPORE - The Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) has launched a campaign to support Singaporean athletes who are attempting to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
The main event of this campaign, dubbed the I'mPOSSIBLE Celebrations 2021, is a virtual run that aims to have its participants clock a total distance of 10,625km - the equivalent of a round trip from Singapore to Tokyo.
Kelly Fan, executive director of the SDSC, said: "It takes enormous mental strength to reach the top. Often, an athlete gives up years of his or her life for that chance, while friends and peers move on ahead in theirs.
"Through this campaign, we want to tell our national athletes that we know what they've put in, and Singapore is behind them."
The I'mPOSSIBLE Buddy Run 2021 has seen seven schools organise buddy runs. Some 2,000 students have so far clocked a total of 691km.
Based on the Paralympics' guided run event for visually challenged athletes, participants in the buddy run are encouraged to run in a pair and they take turns running blindfolded. The experience, said the SDSC, "offers Singaporeans an experience of how Paralympians conquer their fears to achieve".
The campaign also has other activities in which the public can participate, such as colouring, drawing and writing competitions and cheer contests. A series of books for young readers which feature the life story of Singapore Paralympian Nur Syahidah Alim, the world's No. 1 women's compound para-archer, will also be launched.
Stefanie Thia, principal of the Eshkol Valley @ Northstar pre-school, said its Kindergarten 2 pupils would be doing a cheer for the Paralympians and take part in the buddy race, the colouring competition as well as a story reading session by Syahidah.
She added: "We thought that this campaign was very meaningful and would give children the opportunity to embrace diversity and inculcate in children values such as perseverance and determination."
Para-cyclist Steve Tee, who has qualified for the Aug 24-Sept 5 Tokyo Games, said: "Losing my sight made it seem impossible for me to play sports.
"I am heartened to have the understanding and support from Singaporeans through this campaign. This helps make the impossible possible."
The campaign is backed by the Micron Foundation. Chen Kok Sing, Micron's corporate vice-president and Singapore country manager, said: "We are committed to using Micron's strengths and influence to create and promote an inclusive and equitable culture inside and outside of our business.
"We are proud to partner with SDSC and support Singapore's para athletes through this inspiring community event."
Schools and members of the public can visit this website to find out how they can participate in the campaign, which ends in September.