A team of Singaporeans in their early 20s has launched a non-profit project called ‘The Ironman In You‘, in a bid to raise S$100,000 of funds for people with Muscular Dystrophy in Singapore while raising awareness about the disease via fitness challenge.
Muscular Dystrophy is a group of diseases that involve progressive loss of muscle mass, which will lead to an increasing level of disability.
Speaking to TOC on Monday (14 June), Ian Chan said the project was started earlier in March by a group of six individuals, all age 21, who are either serving in the National Service (NS) or pursuing their studies.
Mr Chan, who is currently waiting for enrollment at the National University of Singapore (NUS), noted that the group are mutual friends who met in junior college.
“I brought a few of my friends together and shared with them about a common goal of raising awareness and funds for Singaporeans with Muscular Dystrophy, and together we started The Ironman In You Project,” he added.
The project, supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Association Singapore (MDAS), aims to raise awareness among Singaporeans through a fitness challenge on social media, and collect S$100,000 in donations by 30 June 2021.
To participate in the challenge, members of the public can choose either one of the following activities – 500m swim, 2.5km run/walk, or 10km bike – and subsequently post a photo or video of themselves and their progress on Instagram upon completion.
In addition, participants will need to tag and nominate five friends in their posts to participate in the challenge as well.
Alternatively, members of the public can also donate to support the initiative on Giving.sg.
The fundraising campaign has raised S$19,930 of funds at the time of writing. The goal is to reach S$100,000 by end of this month.
MDAS stated that the primary beneficiaries of the campaign are individuals and their caregivers who are currently being supported by the non-profit social service agency.
“Your generous donation will go towards supporting MDAS’s operating expenditure in providing programmes, services, all supporting costs for over 500 beneficiaries and sustain its operating activities,” it said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chan will also be completing a two-week ‘Ironman Triathlon’, which is a gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km bike, and 42km run at East Coast Beach – all to be done in under 12 hours.
Sharing his Ironman journey for the past 11 months on YouTube, he noted that the training has made him realised the difficulties faced by people with physical disabilities.
“During my Ironman journey and all these months of training, what struck me one of these days was that I have already been spending so many hours training yet my fitness was improving slowly,” said Mr Chan.
“And that made me realised that I couldn’t really imagine how difficult it must be for people with physical disabilities or people with neuromuscular disorders, where no matter how hard they try to improve their physical strength, their muscle just can’t strengthen.”