Baby steps to big dreams
From The Big Walk to The New Face, TNP made a difference on the events landscape. Big Walk helped families bond, The New Face launched the careers of many models
From catwalk to Big Walk, The New Paper moved people in many ways.
When the first The New Paper Big Walk was held on June 18, 1991, records were broken.
The route took 7,000 walkers from the National Stadium to East Coast Parkway and the Pan Island Expressway, and it ended at Marine Parade.
It became the largest crowd for a walk event, a record that Big Walk would break repeatedly over the next few years.
It peaked in 2000 with a Guinness World Record for The World's Largest Walk, with about 77,500 participants.
Even when it was not moving masses, Big Walk was moving individuals.
The need to walk moved four Singaporeans in 2005 to hold it elsewhere.
WALK, MAN, WALK: The Big Walk 2000 where a record 77,500 people participated, making it the world's largest mass walking event. Photo: SIMoN KER Unable to attend the Big Walk, they wore the event T-shirts and walked at Tiananmen Square, China, for 90 minutes.
There were many reasons people were moved by the Big Walk: Fancy costumes, time with family, bonding with friends and colleagues, and the thrill of new routes.
And it was the scene of a moving moment that will stay with civil servant Chris Lim.
In 2011, at The New Paper Big Walk@Resorts World Sentosa, he got down on his knees in front of 18,000 people to propose to his eventual wife Linda.
FIRST WINNER: Angelique Teo, New Face Winner 1993. The win transformed her life, as modelling offers poured in. PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO, SHINTARO TAY
Although the number of participants in The New Paper New Face is much smaller than the Big Walk, the impact is still as resounding to those who got involved.
For the past 24 years, New Face discovered actresses, models, TV presenters, radio DJs, beauty queens and, from about five years ago, social media darlings.
It has become one of the longest running and respected modelling contests in Singapore.
FIRST STEPS TO STARDOM: The New Paper New Face 2013 winner Noelle Woon (centre), with first runner-up Jade Rasif (right) and second runner-up Tan Ying Yi at the grand final held at Takashimaya Square. PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
TV personality Angelique Nicolette Teo was the first to win the title.
She said: "It gave me to confidence to become someone I never set out to be - a public figure. The contest was the platform that projected me towards a life on stage, and in front of the camera.
"And after nearly 25 years, I am still so in love with what I do."
The winner of New Face 2010 Vivien Ong Patenaude, now a model based in New York, said: "It was 100 per cent the reason why I get to be where I am in life today and I am so grateful to have been part of an iconic contest in Singapore's history."
The actual competition paled against the feeling of accomplishment it gave to the participants.
MILESTONE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Singapore Press Holdings chairman Dr Lee Boon Yang walking past the National Gallery during the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk 2015 on Nov 29. PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO, SHINTARO TAY
Selynna Norhisham, last year's winner, said taking part in New Face boosted her confidence.
"New Face truly welcomed everyone from all walks of lives and that in itself is a beautiful thing."
Teo added: "I can't give enough credit to the competition and the people behind it. Who would have ever thought that it would go on for this long and discover so many talented women?"