Held on Sunday, 18 September 2018, Urban Aquathlon marks its third run since

its debut in 2016. An "aquathlon" is a two-stage race comprising of a swim in open waters followed by a run. It is a good transition for those aspiring to participate in a triathlon, which includes cycling. The Urban Aquathlon is annually held at Orchid Country Club, this being the first of its kind in Singapore to have its water race uniquely conducted in an Olympic-sized swimming pool instead of the open waters, making it more conducive for participants with different abilities. 

Last year, Urban Aquathlon’s brainchild, Collin Ng, introduced an "Inclusive"category in addition to the four competitive categories - Master, Open, Novice and Junior. The Inclusive category welcomes people with different or limited abilities, as well as multi-generational family participation. This furthered their aim to promote inclusion with the race being a non-competitive event comprising of a 50m swim and a 500m run. 

Competing in the Masters category, Alim, who is a single-leg amputee triathlete, did the 400m swim. His tag-team partner, Boon, finished the 3km run with two prosthetic legs (and no hands). The duo received an overwhelmingly resounding accolade from the spectators and participants.

After the conclusion of the competitive categories, the “Inclusive” race was flagged off amidst an exciting cheering crowd. There were 37 participants, out of which, 8 participants represented the special needs community, including the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) and Rainbow Centre.

The Inclusive race was honourably flagged off by Jeremy Tan, a swim coach at Swim Movement. He had inspired and encouraged many of his learners with special needs to participate in the Urban Aquathlon. All the parents interviewed unanimously proclaimed that Jeremy is a coach “with a heart in the right place”.

Every participant in the Inclusive category was rewarded for his great effort with a well-deserved medal and an overwhelming level of screams and applause. In our pursuit towards a more inclusive society, it is heartwarming to have people racing together regardless of their differences and abilities.

Lawrence Ng

My name is Lawrence. I am married and have a son who has the amazing gift of autism! As a writer here, I hope to share, ramble, listen, take questions. Simply open the pandora box and have fun. I welcome your critique, feedback and questions. 

Read about his story here.

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Question of the Month

  • Q: What are the various compressive suits available and in what way do they help a child with special needs?

    A: There are various compressive suits available worldwide, just do a google search on compressive suits for therapy and a long list will appear. Each suit has different properties, is made of different materials and claims to have certain benefits. For example: compressive suits for children with autism are supposed to improve sensory input. Compressive suits have also been used for children with poor balance and proprioception (knowing where your limbs are in space). However, not all suits are suitable for all children. Compressive suits can cause increased difficulty in breathing, worsen scoliosis or hip dysplasia if not fitted properly.

    Please consult your therapist for an assessment before use.

    Janell Lee
    Paediatric Physiotherapist

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Credit: A video by Channel 5

Credit: A video by Trixie Chua & Celine Kim for Special Seeds Singapore.

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