Running For The Gold With Daddy
Most of us will think of our fathers as ruthless disciplinarians, cold and stern. But deep down, we know our fathers love us.
One sunny Sunday morning last month, parents and children gathered at the Padang for Asia’s first running event for children, the Annual Cold Storage Kids Run. The run, aimed at promoting family cohesion and bonding, saw its participants race alongside some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks at Marina Bay area. Also open to children aged 12 and below, parent-and-child teams were encouraged to cross the finishing line together.
Amongst participants were hearing-impaired Khairunnisa and her dad, Mr Ahmad Subhi. As Father’s Day draws near, Ezyhealth & Beauty speaks with a father-and-child team on what inspired them into taking part of the race.
Please introduce yourself.
I will be 7 years old in July, and am currently in Primary 1 at the Canossian School for the Hearing Impaired. The school has a regular kindergarten, a mainstream primary school, a primary school and a children’s home catering specifically to children with a hearing loss and a children’s home. I am born with hearing disability and speech deficiency, and I am unable to hear very much or talk like other kids my age.
I am told that you have participated in numerous sports events such as swimming, cycling and running. What has inspired you to do so?
My family keeps me motivated. They have always loved the outdoors – my two sisters and myself are encouraged to lead an active lifestyle. We spend almost every weekend at the Choa Chu Kang Sports or Swimming Complex. You will rarely see us at home. We even cycle to our school as it is much faster than waiting for the bus.
My elder sister, Faizzah who is 8 years old, has mild hearing impairment of the left ear but is able to speak with no difficulties. She is more active, taking part not only swimming, cycling and running, but also football, badminton and table tennis. I wish I could speak as well as her. She helps explain things to me during training sessions or when we participate in events to ensure I am aware of what is going on.
My wins and medals at each event keep me going. Faizzah has more medals than me and I hope to beat her! I also enjoy getting the tee-shirts and all the goodies in the entry packs of runs such as the Cold Storage Kids Run!
What do you enjoy most about the Cold Storage Kids Run?
My aunt registered me for my first Cold Storage Kids Run in 2009. I enjoyed myself very much and got my first medal which was in the shape of a Star. Last year it was in the shape of an apple. I wonder what shape it will be in this year.
Of course, I love the whole lot of activities they have at the Cold Storage Kids Run. The carnival has many games, freebies and prizes to be won! I enjoy that there are so many other kids around whom I can make friends with. It makes me very happy and I look forward to it every year.
Will this be the first time your dad and yourself participate in a run together?
My dad and I are regular partners in many runs and we always reach the finish line as a team. He will hold my hand and ask me to slow down if I feel tired or if I need anything such as water, snacks or even to grab some photos. This is the 3rd year we are taking part in the Cold Storage Kids Run.
Mr Ahmad Subhi
Please introduce yourself.
I am 45 years old and I work at Grand Hyatt Singapore. My wife, Siti and I have 3 lovely daughters.
What sports do you play?
I cycle to remain fit and active. For the past 2 years, I participated in the OCBC Cycle Singapore. I also enjoy soccer and am a part of the Grand Hyatt soccer team and have participated in various soccer tournaments. Apart from that, I also enjoy sports like running, swimming, badminton and bowling.
It is encouraging to watch a father-daughter team. What made you decide to participate in the Cold Storage Kids Run with Khairunnisa?
My sister registered us for our first Cold Storage Kids Run. We never expected to have so much fun as a whole family! So that is why it has become a yearly affair. All my daughters run with a partner in the parent-child category. I am Khairunnisa’s permanent partner as she does not want to team up with anyone else.
Khairunnisa is a lovely child. Despite her disability to speak and hear very well, she loves taking part in outdoor activities, especially in the Cold Storage Kids Run. I make every effort to get some time off work to support her and be her running partner. It makes me feel contented to see her happy and excited. Her smile makes my day!
How do you think the Cold Storage Kids Run will benefit /has benefited Khairunnisa and yourself?
Participating in the run definitely brings the whole family closer. I really think it’s great that the Cold Storage Kids Run has a parent-child category which encourages family bonding. Khairunnisa’s self confidence has improved. She used to be very shy but now she is much more sociable. She even raises her hand to participate in games and quizzes though she will have to use sign-language to give her answers.
I hope exposing Khairunnisa to such events will help her feel more comfortable among other kids. I also believe it will help her integrate with the larger society as she grows older to ensure she can enjoy development opportunities like others. She has the full support of her family!