Running for a Good Cause

CVC Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (CVC Asia Pacific (Singapore) employees participated in the 'Race for Recovery' over a fortnight in June to compete for a philanthropic budget to donate to COVID-19 recovery charities. The winning team contributed funds to selected charities of their choice, including Singapore Red Cross' local COVID-19 recovery efforts, that benefit those affected by the pandemic. 

"Every day we hit the treadmill during the race, we reminded ourselves that we are running not only for our own health but also for other people's well-being during this pandemic," says Xuan Wang.

Xuan Wang, Managing Director of CVC Asia Pacific, was among the 355 employees from 25 global offices who participated in CVC’s 'Race for Recovery'. This philanthropic effort was aimed at making a positive contribution to society while enhancing employee wellness and health. For two weeks from 14 to 27 June 2021, employees ran, walked, swam and cycled to compete for a philanthropic budget from the CVC Foundation to donate to COVID-19 recovery charities of their choice. As part of the race, further donation awards were conferred to the top three distances covered by individuals and teams during the ‘Super Weekend’ on 26 and 27 June. 

"We encouraged employees to participate in the race. By covering distances through sports activities and exercise and winning the race, we earned the budget allocated by the CVC Foundation to help others. Employees could also make additional donations matched by CVC Foundation to enhance the impact," explains Xuan. 

Test of Physical and Mental Endurance

Mingming Chen, 40, who is CVC’s Head of Compliance in the Asia Pacific,  emerged the Champion in the individual category and her team also won the team category of the 'Super Weekend' race, having completed over 180 km that weekend. 

Recounting her experience, Mingming reflected, "The longest race I did was a 100km race eight years ago, where I came in as the second runner-up in the race. This year, I challenged myself to run more than 100km and do two back-to-back ultramarathons for CVC’s 'Race for Recovery' to raise funds for charities related to COVID-19 recovery."

It was not easy to build up the stamina in preparation for the race, though. 

"The training and long runs I did prior to the super weekend built up my stamina, endurance and mental strength. I also ensured that my nutrition was on point and I had adequate rest and recovery in between training runs to perform well over the ‘Super Weekend’," she discloses.  

Mingming embraced a dedicated and disciplined approach to achieving her goal. Starting early at 4.30 am, she ran and walked more than 12 hours daily to cover 76 km on 26 June and another 107 km on 27 June. Mingming completed over 180km over the ‘Super Weekend’ and successfully emerged as the champion globally, for the individual category and her team also came in first for the team category of the ‘Super Weekend’ race. Over the fortnight in June, she clocked a total of 358 km by running and walking, which included the distance covered over the 'Super Weekend'.

Yet, running such long distances required not merely physical endurance but also mental endurance as well. 

"I told myself that the greatest distance is the distance between my ears! In ultramarathon running, your body has to be tough, but your mind has to be tougher! Your mind will tell you that you are tired, you should quit, and your body is aching. I told my mind to quieten down and concentrated on taking one step after another. I focused on the small wins by completing 10 km at a time rather than thinking that I had another 170 km to go. I told myself not to give up as the funds earned from the win will benefit so many people and families," Mingming shares.

Winning the Race to Benefit People 

Through Mingming's unwavering commitment, discipline and diligence, her tremendous efforts paid off. She earned €100,000 for winning the individual category and her team who won the team category earned another €200,000 over the 'Super Weekend'. Her team contributed the funds to a few selected COVID-19 related charities internationally, including to Singapore Red Cross' (SRC) COVID-19 local relief efforts. Her team, together with members of other teams in CVC, contributed S$123,500.70  to Singapore Red Cross' (SRC) COVID-19 local relief efforts.

"We are immensely grateful and thankful to CVC for its generous contribution. Its altruism has empowered us to sustain our local humanitarian programmes; to befriend isolated seniors, care for persons with severe disabilities, provide transport and escort services to lifesaving healthcare, put nutritious food on the table for low-income families, provide tuition, storytelling and mentorship for children. This builds the social, emotional and financial resilience of people who rely on the Singapore Red Cross," said Johnny Tang, Head, Resource Development, Singapore Red Cross.

Both Xuan and Mingming encourage more people to donate to the worthy cause. 

"The battle against COVID-19 is not over. There are many who continue to need help, such as disadvantaged families, migrant worker communities whose livelihoods were affected by the pandemic. In recognition of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on local communities, we contributed to SRC's relief efforts in fighting COVID-19 in Singapore," points out Xuan. 

Sharing similar sentiments, Mingming underscores, "I feel very blessed to contribute to a good cause to help others. I hope that the funds will be used by SRC to tackle the direct impact of the pandemic to support vulnerable groups in areas such as unemployment, employability and upskilling, mental health, COVID-19 related healthcare, social care including tackling homelessness and services for vulnerable groups, poverty reduction including access to basic needs such as food, shelter, and debt advice." 

"For those of us with a job and a roof over our heads, it seems like life is slowly returning to normal. But many people in our community - particularly those in the food and beverage sector and our migrant worker communities - are very badly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We should continue to do our part for society by engaging with charitable organisations to help our community,"  emphasise Xuan and Mingming. 

​By Sondra Foo
Copyedited by Shareen Sophia Louise Thomson, Volunteer Copyeditor

 

Feeling Inspired? Contribute to Singapore Red Cross' local COVID-19 efforts.