School athletes at The Straits Times Run can look forward to being decked out like professionals, as the top performers of the SPH35-Panasonic Schools Challenge will receive New Balance sponsorship deals worth $1,500 to $1,800.
The Schools Challenge is a new addition to the annual ST Run at the Singapore Sports Hub on Sept 29.
In addition, all individual podium placers in the 3.5km race can look forward to an exciting array of prizes from Panasonic, which is backing the ST Run for the seventh straight year.
Race winners will receive a Panasonic 49-inch Ultra HD 4K HDR TV worth $949, runners-up will get a $699 Panasonic 100% Pure Steam Double Heater Microwave Oven, while the third prize is a $399 Panasonic Soundbar.
The male and female winners in the tertiary division will receive a one-year New Balance sponsorship worth $1,800.
Those in the Under-17 division for secondary schools get a $1,500 sponsorship.
I know we are pledging part of the registration fee to the ST School Pocket Money Fund. Running for a cause not only helps needy students, it gives running a new meaning.
RIO YAP , Ping Yi Secondary 4 student, on why he is participating.
New Balance country manager Eugene Yeo said: "With the ST Run reaching out to educational institutions with their new schools category, New Balance felt it was ideal to instil the fearlessly independent spirit in young athletes and offer the winners an opportunity to be equipped with our best-in-class running products, to empower them in the pursuit of their sporting achievements."
Ping Yi Secondary was the first to sign up for the Schools Challenge.
Rio Yap, a Secondary 4 student, said: "I am excited to compete with many different schools, as it will be my first time in an inter-school running competition.
"In addition, I know we are pledging part of the registration fee to the ST School Pocket Money Fund.
"Running for a cause not only helps needy students, but it also gives running a new meaning."
Added Ping Yi's head of department for physical education, Yong Tze Woon: "We have been organising the ST Runs for students and teachers since 2016...
"We use runs like these to motivate our students to be advocates for running and social needs."
Each school must register at least 10 students, who will compete individually while attempting to win the team titles - fastest school (based on their top-10 runners) and longest distance (total distance clocked by all their registered runners) in their division.
The Schools Challenge is open to both local and international schools based here, while tertiary students need to be enrolled full time for a diploma, pre-university or degree course.
ST sports editor Lee Yulin, who is also organising chairman of this year's ST Run, said: "We are grateful to our sponsors Panasonic and New Balance for supporting our vision of having a schools presence in the ST Run and for giving Singapore's young runners another avenue to show off their talents.
"We encourage student athletes to take advantage of this unique opportunity to represent their schools outside the National School Games and to be rewarded handsomely if they win."
• Additional reporting by Kimberly Kwek
• Registration for the schools challenge costs $25 per student ($20 for early birds till Aug 2) and can be done by writing to email@example.com