Age no barrier as woman, 84, hits streets for a good cause

The former Forest Department Sarawak staff is now the oldest Run for the Wild virtual run participant.

KUCHING, Nov 18: Age was not a hindrance for an 84-year-old woman, who participated in Run for the Wild 2019 virtual run at Kuching’s Jubilee Ground recently.

The former Forest Department Sarawak staff also broke last year’s record for oldest virtual runner which was held by an 80-year-old participant.

The event was jointly organised by Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia (WCS Malaysia), Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, and in partnership with Sarawak Biodiversity Centre.

According to WCS Malaysia in a statement, nine welfare organisations and youth-run non-governmental organisations (NGOs) namely Sarawak Society for the Deaf (SSD), Community-Based Rehabilitation Centre (PDK), Hope Place, Heart Treasures, Tzu Chi, Keep Green Movement (KGM), Kuching Beach Cleaners, Sarawak Eco Warriors and the Swinburne Sarawak Green Club also took part and showcased their activities at the bazaar.

Seventy-four volunteers consisting of students and staff from Swinburne Sarawak made up most of the workforce to manage over 317 registered runners on the day of the event.


“The support for conservation seen in Kuching is extremely heart-warming. In a way, the event was also a celebration of life as the NGOs highlighted simple solutions that participants can take to help alleviate the serious environmental problems faced by humanity. Such conservation optimism and hope are important because we humans often feel overwhelmed by dark environmental issues,” remarked WCS Malaysia director Dr Melvin Gumal.

The 5km category runners take off at the flag-off.

Apart from a large art piece which was on display for the public to doodle on and a conservation talk on orangutans, sharks and rays and the roles of humans to help these wildlife by Dr Melvin, the event was also enlivened with performances by the KGM Band.

The crowd was serenaded by hypnotising tunes on a traditional 2-string lute, known to the Orang Ulu community as the ‘tapi’.

Tzu Chi’s Rice Bag House which simulated the greenhouse effect was a hit with the runners as was the massive hammerhead shark photo backdrop and the Swinburne Sarawak Green Club’s creation of “Trash Art”.

Additionally, winners of the Wildlife Conservation Swinburne Sarawak English Microfiction Challenge, Ashley Jong Yi Ying, Chamath Kalanaka Vithanawasam, Ephraim Hii Xin En, Lancelan Pegan Roland Sagah and Shin Ho In were present to receive their awards.

The winning entries for their respective categories can be viewed at the official Wildlife Conservation Swinburne Sarawak English Microfiction Challenge website (http://wildlifemicrofiction.com/)

Run for the Wild Malaysia is supported by Hilton Kuching, Sarawak Energy Berhad, Hock Seng Lee, Hypergear Malaysia, John’s Pie, Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Neudimenxion and iPrint.

Members of the public are invited to continue supporting the conservation of orangutans, sharks and rays by joining the 520 other virtual runners from 19 countries by registering at the Run for the Wild Malaysia website: http://www.runforthewildmalaysia.com/.

Registration is free and track logs may be submitted until 31 December 2019, which will then be published on WCS Malaysia’s Facebook page.

WCS Malaysia is headquartered in Kuching, with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin in Peninsular Malaysia.

Currently, WCS Malaysia works to preserve four priority species namely orang-utans, sharks and rays, elephants and tigers.

For more information on WCS Malaysia, do visit https://malaysia.wcs.org/ or its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WCS.Malaysia/ for updates. — DayakDaily