A Second Chance

The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run aims to raise awareness of rehabilitating ex-offenders back into society.

RUN SINGAPORE BY | UPDATED 7 YEARS AGO

The Yellow Ribbon Run was a great way for all to move on a Sunday morning, and brought the crowds to Changi like nothing before.

Many took the opportunity to take their children along for a day out for a good cause, raise awareness of rehabilitating ex-offenders back into society. With two run distances for racers to accomplish, runners of all kinds took the opportunity to contribute.

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However, it did come with a few hiccups. With the closing down of some streets, traffic to get to the race site nearly slowed down to a crawl. Participants took a while to get to the start, and not all managed to get to the start of the race site in time for their respective flag-offs. At 8.05am, masses of participants were still walking towards the starting point, and more were still arriving in buses, cars and motorbikes.

Still, the crew did their best, making sure participants didn’t linger behind. The route was straightforward, taking runners all the way from the nearby Changi Village to the Changi Prison Complex. The 5km event took runners to areas around the neighbourhood.

Most participants took a very relaxed way for the 5km event, choosing to walk, take photos of the inspirational messages that were posted all around the route, and generally enjoy themselves.

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The more competitive spirited participants were in the 10km event, where many took the opportunity to challenge themselves. Runners from all over chose this event, ranging from participants from Hong Kong to even Kenya!

One such group of runners came from Hong Kong, and were members of the Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention (SRACP), which provide rehabilitation services such as counselling, recreational activities, vocation training and hostels for former prison inmates so that they can be reintegrated into society. It also offers assistance to their family members. When interviewed, one representative of the group explained that the group were running not just to show their support to the event, but also for an opportunity to run overseas. Seven of the members did the 5km, while the other two members finished the 10km. They arrived with banners to show their support not just for the Yellow Ribbon Run, but also to share awareness for their own run.

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Local corporations too showed up to lend their support to the Yellow Ribbon Run, like Parkway Pantai, a medical company based in Singapore and Southeast Asia's largest private healthcare provider, as well as others.

The runners followed the winding path into the rarely seen grounds of the Changi Prison Complex, where the finish lines for both categories were at, and took the opportunity to unwind at the family friendly race carnival.


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Participants got to enjoy drinks and desserts from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Ribena, while others went through the Rehab fair to look at the exhibition display of art pieces made by ex-convicts, the daily life of an inmate in Changi, as well as a small obstacle course to represent the kinds of stumbling blocks ex-offenders often need to go through in order to become accepted as upstanding members of society again.



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