BRIGHT billboards and viral sports advertisements featuring famous athletes often promote the mental and physical health benefits of sports.
However, a frequently overlooked but important advantage is the resilience it produces in an individual.
Wheelchair-bound Daniel Lee, who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta type one, also known as the brittle bones disease, can attest to this.
Despite his condition, the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) alumnus has never stayed still and completed a 11km run during the TARCian Run 2019 in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday. It was organised by TAR UC and the TARCian Alumni Association (TAA).
“Staying home and playing video games is fun, but only to a certain extent.
“Physical activities allow you to test your limits and push yourself further.
“This helps you in other areas of your life, especially during the times when you feel you can’t go further.
“I apply what I learn from sports into life, ” said Lee, 28, a gamer himself.
The Advanced Psychology graduate sees sports as his opportunity to inspire people.
Lee’s aim is to enter the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games for wheelchair racing and is currently training as an athlete.
“It’s uncertain whether I’ll be able to reach Tokyo but my goal is to represent Malaysia someday in the Paralympic games for wheelchair racing.
“I want to fulfil my own potential and inspire others to do the same.
“I believe that’s how one person can change the world, ” said the second of three siblings.
Lee only actively began to participate in sporting events after he graduated from TAR UC.
The motivational speaker started with 10km runs, before moving on to 21km, 42km and 100km.
Echoing Lee on the importance of physical activities was Lee Chew Aun, 23, who developed back pain due to bad posture from hours of gaming.
Chew Aun took last year off from marathons and runs to recover from his injury but the final year mechanical engineering student itched to get back on track.
“I was 14 when I started running as a form of exercise before playing badminton.
“The TARCian Run 2019 is my first run after my break last year; these activities are good for your health.
“It releases our stress from assignments, ” said the Penangite who took part in the 5km category.
Themed “Run for Unity”, TAR UC president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei said the TARCian Run promotes healthy living.
“We encourage our students to be healthy and having sports facilities in our campus helps the cause.
“We want to give our students a holistic environment to develop in; it’s more than just providing an education for them.
“The run is something the varsity will continue to carry out, ” he said.
TAA president Datuk Yap Kuak Fong said apart from studying hard, it’s vital for students to take part in extracurricular activities.
“A healthy body is important because it is only then that students can study well and contribute to nation building, ” he added.
Held in conjunction with TAR UC’s 50th anniversary and national day celebration, the run saw the participation of approximately 7,000 TAR UC students, alumni and staff from its campuses nationwide.
The annual run collected RM8,000 from its proceeds in it’s first year in 2015, which was donated to the TARC Education Fund for the construction of the varsity’s Student Centre.
TARCian Run 2017 and 2018 raised RM50,000 each year, which went to the education fund.
TAA vice president and TARCian Run 2019 organising chairman Lim Kok Eng said one of the objectives of the run is to raise funds for the education fund.
“As TARCians, we are always thinking of what we can do for our alma mater.
“Over the years, TAA has raised RM1.1mil from our programmes, of which RM561,000 have been channeled towards providing scholarships for our students, ” he shared.
Also present at the run were TAR UC vice president Assoc Prof Dr Chook Ka Joo, TAA honorary advisors Tan Sri Barry Goh Ming Choon and Datuk Dr Tan Chik Heok, Yap, TAA deputy president Datuk Chan Wah Kiang and vice-president Teo Ka Chin.