Bri­gaders run to raise funds

The Girls’ Bri­gade held its first ever marathon in Kuala Lumpur last week.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Living -

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

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.

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