Students’ virtual race raises funds, fitness level

A screenshot of the club’s project that saw the participation of 70 students.

AGE is no barrier when you want to do something positive. This proved true for a group of students aged between 11 and 18 who participated in a student-led fundraiser despite the lockdown.

The group of 70 students from Sunway International School’s (SIS) Interact Club raised RM25,281 by organising Run for the Future — a virtual run in aid of Dignity for Children Foundation.

The club’s objective was to support the foundation’s goal of providing quality education to refugee children and those in the B40 group.

It was spearheaded by the school’s Interact Club president 14-year-old Caitlyn Lee and its vice-president Edward Liew.

The duo came up with the virtual run that served the dual purpose of helping members to keep fit during the movement control order period while giving back to society.

Using a mobile app to track steps, Run for the Future required participants to walk or run as many steps as possible over a two-week period.

The participant with the highest number of steps at the end of the event would be the winner.

The fundraising element kicked in when participants approached friends and families to sponsor their efforts.

“We had to think out of the box to reach out to students and give them a reason to join this initiative,” said Caitlyn.

“As incentives, we came up with reward systems that would appeal to students.

“This included community service hours proportional to their efforts, certificates of achievement and attractive prizes for the top three winners.”

Edward said he encouraged his peers to step out of their comfort zone, to innovate and take the first step in making a change, whether big or small.

Throughout the two-week period of the virtual run, a daily leader board was set up to motivate participants to consistently keep fit and push themselves.

Their steps were tracked daily and they were informed of their daily achievement via a WhatsApp group.

This served as a great motivational platform, especially when schools had to shut down due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

The two-week period saw over six million steps being clocked.

The top three winners of the event were 13-year-old Dillon Choo who raised RM1,671 with 367,862 steps, followed by Nima Rostami who raised RM1,244 with 311,160 steps and Yuri Fukushima who raised RM1,065 with 266,382 steps.

From the total amount raised, RM15,000 was set aside for a six-month sponsorship of 15 students.

The money will be used to underwrite education fees, healthcare and hygiene needs, nutritious meals as well as sports and physical development for these students.

The balance of RM10,000 will go to Dignity’s Farm School to sponsor the building of two units of bamboo huts.

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