No disrespect when we say that your mum didn’t go far enough when she told you that charity begins at home,? because Singapore runners know that high-profile events held to raise money and awareness for good causes also begin at marathon start lines.
Why run races that benefit charities? Because it’s your obligation as a human being to give back to society and because there’s no better way to scratch your philanthropic itch than by using your favourite sport as a vehicle for generating consciousness and money.
Is one of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions to be more charitable? You’ve come to the right place. Let us know if you need more reasons to show the world that you care in 2016 after you read this article.
Why Run For a Cause?
When U.S. runner Christopher Bergland was asked to author an article in Psychology Today magazine about the difference between doing good and feeling good, he was able to address the full spectrum of having a noble purpose and acting on it.
Bergland’s research led him to the conclusion that doing good is so beneficial to the human spirit, it can even impact our genes and sense of well-being.
Runners who love the idea of running because it benefits a cause they support are generous souls, but when they run for a cause just because there are medals waiting at the finish line, it’s not the same. Medals and PBs are great reasons to run marathons; add that charitable aspect and find out what Bergland’s research proves!
How Philanthropic is Singapore?
According to the Ministry of Culture, Singapore has a lot to be proud of because there are 2,180 charities registered in our nation, 32.3-percent of all Singaporeans volunteer their time and/or money to philanthropic pursuits and an impressive 65-percent of all citizens participate in a sporting activity at least once a week.
Can the confluence of these statistics be any better proof of our commitment to our collective, generous spirit? To quote the Standard Chartered Marathon website on charitable participation, “No one knows the power of sport better than a marathoner”, and this prophetic quote says plenty about the nation’s sensibilities and willingness to help others.
On the World Giving Index, Singapore may be a small nation, but it comes in at #34 of 100, beating wealthier nations like Denmark, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, France, Japan and countries with larger economies and populations.
How to Choose the Right Event?
It is as important to choose the right event as it is to generate support for the organisation behind it. That’s why you will run your best race if you connect personally to an agency, movement, appeal or ongoing services provided by the charity, particularly if it attracts you on a visceral level.
Here’s a short list of questions you may wish to ask before you decide whether it’s worth your while to sign up for a charity run in 2016:
- Do I have an affinity for a cause because it’s touched my family, my heart or my friends?
- How much do I know about the type of work this charity undertakes?
- What sort of organisational split exists between the organisers and the charity with whom it partners?
- Is this charity registered, acknowledged and above-board, releasing its books and finances to contributors?
- What percentage of profits goes directly to the charity once administrative bills to host the event are paid?
The last question – #5 – is particularly important when making choices. There’s nothing wrong with marathon organisers paying event bills and administrative costs, but if you learn that the organiser’s share of the proceeds is huge – and funds the charity receive are small by comparison – this may not be an event in which you choose to run.
Consider These Early 2016 Singapore Running Events
NUS Bizad Charity Run 2016 (23 January)
If you’re interested in spreading your largesse around, the NUS Bizad Charity Run benefits not just the NUS Business School Study Bursaries and Boys Town but the Muscular Dystrophy Association as well. Appear at the National University of Singapore’s business school, 15 Kent Ridge Road, at 5 p.m. for this popular, early-in-the-year evening event.
If you already collected your race pack between the 15th and 16th, and picked up a treasure trove of entitlements, including a running tee, race bib (10km entrants only) and backpack in your choice of colors. If you’ve yet to register, what are you waiting for?
Run for Hope 2016 (31 January)
If you think about this event for more than a minute, you’ll realize that hardly anyone in the running community is untouched by cancer’s insidious reach, so if you can pick only one event, this one not only raises awareness, but supports cancer research.
Talk about credibility; this race is 23 years old and still kicking some serious butt, so whether you’re a newbie and can only handle 3.5 km or you never met a 10k m you didn’t love, get yourself to The Promontory at Marina Bay on the 31st and don’t be late, because flag-offs start at 7:15 a.m. and end at 7:30 a.m. Registration closed on 11 January, but if you’ve run this race in the past, you may still be able to get in. Find out more here.
Terry Fox Run Singapore 2016 (6 March)
Over the last 3 years, 87% of the funds raised from this event went to cancer research in Singapore, including the S$240,000 raised in 2015. Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox – a one legged amputee and cancer victim has inspired millions around the world when he embarked on a cross Canada run in 1980 to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He ran for 143 days and completed 5,373 kilometres before succumbing to the disease.
Today, The Terry Fox Run is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research, covering an expanse of over 60 countries, including Singapore, to help Terry to fulfil his dream. As Terry said, “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.” Continue his race at Big Splash by signing up the race or donate here.
NTUC Income RUN 350 2016(10 April)
If you really care about the earth and want to participate in a meaningful ecological event, look no further than the annual NTUC Income RUN 350 organised by Young NTUC. This eco-run aims to educate and harness the strength of the masses to do their part to combat climate change.
Some of the green initiatives like the launch of digital registrations to reduce the usage of paper, replacing regular diesel with biodiesel to fuel the event generator to reduce the carbon footprint and Utility Challenge which allows participants to receive a cash voucher if their utility bill is below the national average standard. Be part of this green journey at the F1 Pit by registering at the Run 350 official site.
Venus Run 2016 (13 March)
It’s not easy being a woman, that’s why the Venus Run Singapore’s goal is to promote healthy living through active participation in sports among women.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, the all-women running event wishes to enable women to achieve healthy balanced lifestyles amidst multiple and demanding responsibilities to fulfill at work and at home. Dress up in your prettiest sports attire and join in the fun at the Big Splash on race day.
Charis Mission Run 2016 (16 April)
There’s plenty of time to register for the New Charis Mission Charity Run (TNCM) organised by the non-profit of the same name. This charity has a Herculean task when it comes to fundraising because it helps the elderly, prisoners, ex-offenders, troubled kids and other marginalized and disenfranchised populations in Singapore who are hungry for the hope and opportunities this philanthropic group promotes.
Register to participate on the charity’s website, and while the flag-off time(s) are not yet set, you can still calendar the date and place: East Coast Park at Angsana Green. This is an early start; 6:00 a.m., so no oversleeping.
More Singapore Charitable Running Events?
Are there more coming? You bet; charitable run postings are publicised regularly, so as the year progresses, spot more than one that appeals to you and apply due diligence when checking it out.
In the interim, satisfy our curiosity: If you could start a charity marathon in Singapore, what’s the one cause that inspires you so much, you couldn’t possibly say “no” to participating?