Singapore Canoe Marathon gathers national athletes from diverse sports

January 27, 2015 in Featured, In the Press by Singapore Canoe Federation

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POSTED: 18 Jan 2015 18:52
URL: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-canoe-marathon/1598218.html

National athletes from various sports traded their familiar gear for the oars as they took part in Sunday’s SG50 canoe relay as part of the nation’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

SINGAPORE: National athletes from sports as diverse as gymnastics and swimming came together on Sunday (Jan 18) to do something some of them have never done before – canoeing. They attended the annual Singapore Canoe Marathon, where they took part in a 50-kilometre relay, specially organised to commemorate the nation’s 50th birthday.

About 650 people took part, pairing up with national canoeists in the relay. Through Sunday’s event, the athletes got to bond ahead of their next major assignment – the Southeast Asian Games in June.

Gymnast Lim Heem Wei said: “I haven’t kayaked in more than 10 years. The last time was at OBS (Outward Bound School). But luckily I had Stephenie in front who helped balance the whole thing. If not for Stephenie, I would be in the water half the time.”

Swimmer Quah Ting Wen said: “I am sure when SEA Games comes around, it’ll be nice to know who exactly I’m cheering for when I go and support other teams. So, that’s nice. I like events like Sunday’s.”

Chef de Mission for 2015 SEA Games, Nicholas Fang, said: “It was quite funny – I know some of them literally felt like a fish out of water although they were on the water. But they came together as a team – Team Singapore. I think they get to know each other, they get to do fun stuff together, and it really builds a good esprit de corps ahead of the SEA Games later this year.”

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who is also the president of the Singapore National Olympic Council, said: “I think there will be a newfound respect for kayakers from this point on. It’s a great opportunity to just kick off part of SG50 celebrations and as part of Team Singapore, I think one of the things we’d like our athletes to do is to spend more time with each other and get to know each other.”

Sunday’s event featured various races for people of all ages and included para-athletes.

– CNA/ir