The perfect combination of charitable aspirations and swimming fun – that was this year’s SAFRA’s annual Swim for Hope 2019. The event drew strong support from over 4,000 charity givers and almost 3,000 participants from the Republic of Singapore Navy, making this the largest contingent ever garnered by SAFRA. All participants took to the pool for a good cause at the ninth edition of the swim, raising $178,000. The proceeds went to this year’s beneficiaries, namely the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), Down Syndrome Association and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Care Fund.
Held from 11 to 13 Oct, it took place across five SAFRA clubs – Mount Faber and Yishun (11 Oct), Toa Payoh and Jurong (12 Oct), and Tampines (13 Oct). Guest-of-Honour, Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Minister of State for Defence and President, SAFRA, presented the prizes to the top three winners of each category.
He also gave out the tokens of appreciation to the Republic of Singapore Navy, sponsors, the SAFRA Tampines Club EC Chairman, as well as presented a cheque with the total sum gathered from the event to the beneficiaries. A highlight on the charity calendar, Swim for Hope made its debut in 2011 at SAFRA Tampines. It is a fund-raiser for operationally ready NSmen and their families to contribute to charitable causes while promoting fitness and bonding through swimming. What had started as a single-day event has grown into a full-fledged three-day bonanza, with newer and more inclusive categories introduced over
the subsequent editions.
This year, the event had three categories: Open (age 13 years and above), Junior (age six to 12 years old), and Families for Life (teams comprising a parent and
child between 6 and 12 years old). The parent-and-child category was introduced in 2016 to attract more children below the age of 13 to participate.
Over the three-day event, the “swim wave”, which comprised a two-hour session at any of the five clubs, was a big draw to swimmers. As in previous years, there was no minimum lap needed and all swimmers could take a break at any point. Notably, in a display of bravado, some participants signed up for multiple swim waves at different clubs on different days, pushing themselves to the limit, all in the name of raising funds. One of the highlights this year was the “badge of honour” in the form of a customised T-shirt awarded to swimmers who swam at all five SAFRA clubs. The T-shirt was a personalised “Making Waves For Better Lives” outfit emblazoned with their total number of laps swum. Participants also each received a finisher’s medal as well as a goodie bag filled with prizes from various sponsors.
However, for many, prized above all was knowing that they had contributed to helping the less fortunate as a fund-raiser.