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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Big Walk, big crowd

Thousands take part in 5km ramble from Clarke Quay to Marina Barrage.
The Straits Times - September 3, 2012
By: Janice Heng
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Big Walk, big crowd Participants waving to photographers after the flag-off by Education Minister Heng Swee Keatoutside The Central shopping mall in Clarke Quay. Most walkers yesterday were togged out in free Denizen T-shirts, forming a sea of white. -- ST PHOTOS: NEO XIAOBI

THOUSANDS of people gathered on the banks of the Singapore River yesterday for The New Paper's annual Big Walk.

This year's charity event was a 5km riverside ramble, from The Central shopping mall at Clarke Quay to Marina Barrage.

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat flagged off the walkers at 7.45am.

Also seeing them off were mascots from the sponsors: from a dancing bottle of isotonic drink H-Two-O to the Singapore Turf Club's cuddly horse mascots Racer and Clover to Nando's mascot.

Along the way, walkers looked out for more than just the riverside sights. The participants all had Bingo cards, with numbers scattered along the trail for them to spot and cross out.

Other games involved looking out for giant tetra-paks and snapping pictures of route markers with smartphones. And just for taking part, each walker received $700 worth of vouchers.

"It's a good time for the whole family to have a bit of exercise and a bit of fun," said accountant Victor Tan, 45, who was there with his wife and two children. The family have been taking part for almost 10 years.

Most walkers yesterday were togged out in free Denizen T-shirts, forming a sea of white.

But a splash of colour was provided by Mr Jimmy Goh, 39, who turned up dressed as the Chinese God of Fortune, tossing sweets at the crowd "for good luck".

He said he had done the same at last year's Big Walk, and planned to keep it up.

The New Paper editor Dominic Nathan said a portion of the money raised will be given to Project Helping Hands, which installs motion sensors in the homes of old people who live alone.

The walk also helped to support the Singapore G1 green lifestyle event, held yesterday at Marina Barrage. "We are connecting with the community in a special way this year," said Mr Nathan.

The Big Walk was first held in 1991 at the National Stadium in Kallang. It holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest walk - when 77,500 people took part in it in 2000.

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