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Runninghour CharmaineCharmaine loves running. It is her unwavering passion and obsession. It is one thing to run for yourself, but it takes an entirely different meaning when you make a difference in someone else’s life through running.

Charmaine personally knew the benefits of running but she never thought that others could benefit from her love of the sport, until she heard about the Runninghour Co-operative for the first time, during her first year of study at a junior college.

The running club’s motto – ‘Run to bond, run so others can!’, resonated with this eighteen-year-old avid runner. After hearing that the Runninghour Co-operative promotes integration of persons with special needs through running, she signed up as a volunteer guide.

Joining Runninghour Co-operative as a volunteer became the first step to eye-opening encounters and experiences which has changed Charmaine’s perspective towards the marginalised.

In a span of two years, the weekly sessions which Charmaine volunteered for was a training ground in communications with those who were visually, physically or intellectually challenged. Not only was it a test of patience, there were moments when Charmaine felt that her efforts were in vain.

I recall an incident, during my early months of volunteering, whereby a beneficiary who was intellectually challenged tripped and fell down upon misinterpreting what I had said when we were negotiating a bumpy path. Nevertheless, we persevered together, and eventually, we learnt to communicate and understand each other better. Since then, we have successfully paired up together in multiple runs and races.

Through her encounters with the beneficiaries, Charmaine has become more compassionate. She truly found her calling to ‘run so others can’.

As a volunteer guide, not only can I pursue my passion in running, it gives me even more joy to witness the success of someone who would otherwise not have discovered his or her strengths and capabilities.

Runninghour Charmaine 2Till this day, Charmaine is grateful to the team from the Runninghour Co-operative who had visited her school to raise awareness about co-operatives as well as conduct training sessions on tips to communicate with those with special needs. She benefitted from the programme and would like to encourage people out there who wish to volunteer with the Runninghour Co-operative to keep an open mind and embrace working with people who struggle with various forms of disability.

Runninghour Co-operative Limited
is a sports co-operative that promotes integration of persons with special needs through running. It has members who are mildly intellectually challenged, physically challenged and visually challenged. Anyone passionate about running is welcome to join as running guides.

For more enquiries, call 90505398 or email: [email protected].

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Singapore National Co-operative Federation
510 Thomson Road #12-02
SLF Building, Singapore 298135
Email: [email protected]
Tel (65) 6602 0747.

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