Be inspired by these extraordinary athletes.
After the spectacular 28th SEA Games in June this year, we are now in the thick of the 8th ASEAN Para Games. It is the first time Singapore plays host to this multi-sport event, which includes 15 sports for athletes with disabilities, and will close on 9 December.
It might sound cheesy to say that “everyone is a winner” but never has this saying rung truer. Take a look at this motivational video on the 8th ASEAN Para Games, by Sport Singapore, that has been making its rounds and be inspired – and remember to cheer on our athletes!
Earlier this year, our Shape Run 2015 also saw a dynamic duo – Delia Kang (right), a visually impaired athlete, and her running guide Yeong Poh Kiaw, a Repulic Polytechnic lecturer. Diagnosed with myopic macular degeneration in 2009 – which resulted in the loss of central vision in both her eyes – Delia currently has only about 40 per cent vision.
Delia tells us more about herself and why she loves running.
I first started exercising… To lose weight. At my heaviest, I was nearly 90kg. After a routine check-up in 2000, my doctor said I was at high risk of developing various other health conditions. That scared me into action.
The biggest challenge for me as a visually impaired athlete is… Crashing into cyclists! It’s hard to see them when they fall within my blind spots.
Something fully sighted people can learn from visually impaired athletes is… To get out of one’s comfort zone and always be game to take up new challenges.
My current workout regime includes… Thrice-weekly swim sessions and twice-weekly runs.
My upcoming races include… Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (42km run).
The best part about running is… The runner’s high that lingers long after a race.
Poh Kiaw also shares her experience of being a running guide for the first time.
I decided to be a running guide when… My colleague Chong Hai Yen introduced me to Runninghour, a club that reaches out to those with special needs. Delia is a member. I found the opportunity meaningful, and agreed to be her guide for this run.
As a running guide… I had to ensure Delia’s safety. There was a nerve-wracking moment during the race when I saw someone trip and fall right beside us. That was a huge reminder to constantly be alert, especially when I’m looking out for someone else.
What I found most rewarding about the experience was… Seeing Delia smile as we crossed the finish line, and knowing that she’d pushed herself to do her best.
My best advice to a new running guide is… To let your buddy guide you – think of yourself as a dancing partner. Sometimes you take the lead, and sometimes your buddy takes the lead.