Brigaders run to raise funds
The Girls’ Brigade held its first ever marathon in Kuala Lumpur last week.
IT was the first ever marathon held by the Girls’ Brigade in Malaysia. The Girls’ Brigade has always organised fundraising programmes but this time, the uniformed body decided to think out of the box. So, they organised a running event.
“This time around, apart from raising funds, the event also aimed to keep our participants healthy,” said the run’s organising chairperson, Michelle Ong.
Held on June 10 at Perdana Botanical Garden in Kuala Lumpur, the event’s theme was “Love, Joy, and Kindness”.
Girls’ Brigade Malaysia started in 1938 in Penang, according to Girls’ Brigade Malaysia’s national secretary, Katryn Tan.
The uniformed group’s programmes and activities are designed to instil discipline and teamwork, as well as to develop leadership skills in its members. The group’s mission is to guide girls, through self-control and a sense of responsibility, to become contributing members of society. It is recognised by the Education Ministry as a school co-curriculum programme, and is an affiliated member of the Malaysian Youth Council. The Girls’ Brigade has 82 companies spread all over Malaysia, with a total of 9,384 members.
“There were about 530 participants in the run and they came from all over Malaysia. We also had the support of sponsors who helped us cover our expenses, and we managed to raise RM20,000,” said Ong. The money raised will go towards building the Girls’ Brigade’s headquarters in Ara Damansara, Selangor.
It was a indeed a fun run, with lots of love, joy and kindness in the air as the brigaders ran on the 3km, 5km or 10 km routes.
Zoey Ong Hui Yi, 15, a Girls’ Brigade Junior leader said that she was tired but relieved after finishing her 5km run.
“I am glad that I managed to complete the run. But to get our sportsgirls’ badge, we need to run the 5km within 35 minutes ... and none of us made it,” she added, a little disappointed.
The brigaders collect badges as recognition of their achievements in various fields.
The organisers were pleased with the turnout and how the event unfolded.
“We are thankful to all of our members, from the six-years-old to the 70-year-old, who were able to participate in the run, making it so meaningful!” said Ong, adding that it was special to see families running together, such as seven-yearold Kelly Thau who was injured but managed to complete the 3km run with her dad’s help.
Apart from fundraising activities like this marathon and annual dinners, the Girls’ Brigade also holds training camps and national camps.
The brigade is in five regions in Malaysia, and each region hosts a “Fonomarae”, a gathering held once every four years to bring members from different regions together.
For more on the Girls’ Brigade, go to www.gbmalaysia.org.
Participants from all over Malaysia joining the Girls’ Brigade Run. — Photos: AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star
(From left) Alita Pang, Eric Liew, Alisha Ding, Zoey Ong, Nicole Chew, Wong Cha Li, Esther Ooi, Nicole Ding and Adele Yap were all happy they completed the run.
Ong, the organising chairperson of the Run.
Tan, the national secretary of Girls’ Brigade Malaysia.