The 12th Singapore Canoe Marathon ended today amidst several firsts. Organised for the first time in the heartlands at Anchorvale Community Club since its inception in 1999, it also introduced an inaugural fun race, which attracted over 100 participants of all ages and raised S$40,000 for the para-canoeing community.
Co-organisers Singapore Canoe Federation [SCF] and People’s Association [PA] Water-Venture also organised try-out sessions along the Punggol Waterway for the community to learn the sport from Team Singapore athletes and bond with families and friends at the same time.
Mr Ang Hak Seng (BBM), Chief Executive Director of People’s Association, who participated in the fun race said, “Canoeing has become more accessible with this new location and the introduction of the fun race. Through our efforts, we hope to offer families and friends an additional lifestyle option for them to bond, have fun and enjoy our beautiful waterways.”
In a strong show of support towards the para-canoeing community, the event saw Mr Tan Chuan Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower and Adviser to Marine Parade GRC Grassroots Organisations, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development and Adviser to the SCF and Jurong GRC Grassroots Organisations, and Mr Nicholas Fang, Nominated Member of Parliament, teaming up with an athlete each from Team Singapore Canoeing and staff from the PA to paddle a total of 40km for a good cause.
For every metre paddled by them, a group of donors pledged a dollar to fund the development of a para-canoeing programme which will be administered by the SCF. This programme will enable athletes with physical disabilities to enjoy the sport by sponsoring the purchase of their equipment such as specially modified kayaks.
A potential beneficiary of the programme is Mr Tan Hun Boon, who has been canoeing for a year. He said, “Canoeing is a demanding sport. Through paddling, we constantly challenge ourselves to improve every session. This is something people of all physical capabilities can identify with. We are really grateful to the Singapore Canoe Federation, PA Water-Venture and all donors for their continued support for our passion.”
“We are delighted to be able to contribute in this way to the development of the para-canoeing programme. This is a very good cause, as sports is a very powerful enabler. It is also very heartening to see the community actively contributing, participating and giving back,” said Mr Desmond Lee, after paddling 10km along Punggol Waterway.
On top of the fun race and the public try-outs, a total of 600 participants also took part in the one day canoeing competition that was organised across four different categories. It definitely was a fruitful and meaningful day for all the participants whom participated in the event at the Punggol Waterway.
As our new home is situated near the Punggol Waterway, both Jacqueline and I are pretty excited about moving in next year and we certainly look forward to participating in more activities organised at the Punggol Waterway.