ST Virtual Run: Safe distancing the key as nearly 400 students and staff from ITE College West sign up for 17.5km race

ITE College West students Md Mikhail Raiyan (left) and Ng Li Yan with physical education lecturer Mark Daniel Govin.
ITE College West students Md Mikhail Raiyan (left) and Ng Li Yan with physical education lecturer Mark Daniel Govin.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West could not carry out its usual fitness programmes, which included tug-of-war events between classes and running races.

So to encourage its students and staff to lead healthy lifestyles, the school's physical education department came up with virtual workout sessions and exercise challenges on social media platform Tik Tok.

Wanting to ride on that momentum, the department then decided to get the ITE's students and staff involved in The Straits Times Virtual Run's (STVR) 17.5km category. The school will see 300 students and 87 staff attempting the race from Oct 9 to Oct 18.

Physical education lecturer Mark Daniel Govin, 34, said: "What we did were live workout videos, but that was more strength training, not so much cardio. Because of the pandemic, we couldn't gather everyone, but for this virtual run, it was great because we can do it in our own time.

"It's safe but they also get to clock their distance. It's nice that we're doing it together so they are already excited for it, they're comparing (their runs) with one another."

ITE is also planning its own virtual run in November and Mr Govin thought that the STVR was the perfect platform for participants to experience what a virtual run was like.

On why she wanted to take part in the virtual race, first-year student Ng Li Yan said: "We don't have to complete it within a day and we can run at own time and pace so you won't feel pressured by other runners' presence."

The 17-year-old has been running twice a week over distances of about 2km to train for event.

Others like Muhammad Mikhail Raiyan Abdul Aziz have also been training for the run. The Year 2 student actively participated in the virtual activities organised by the school and began running a lot more during the circuit breaker, clocking 100km in less than a month.


To prepare for the upcoming STVR, he has been running at least three times a week.

Mikhail, 18, said: "It's been hard to take part in activities outside and in ITE (during the pandemic) so when the STVR event popped up, I wanted to take part in it."