Lim-Prasad on a mission to heal souls through soles
While working as an assistant coach for underprivileged youths, national hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad discovered that they would train in school shoes and slippers.
Determined to change this, the 25-year-old founded In My Shoes, a movement that redistributes sports shoes to disadvantaged young athletes.
Together with Deloitte Singapore's head of Sports Business James Walton, 39, they have collected over 350 pairs in just a few weeks after launching the initiative.
They aim to collect over 1,000 pairs by the end of the year.
"We want these kids to be able to take part in something they can be proud of without having to worry about being injured for not having a proper pair of shoes," said Walton, at the launch at the MOE (Evans) Stadium yesterday.
Lim-Prasad, a two-time South-east Asia (SEA) Games medallist, hopes to inspire budding athletes to achieve their dreams through this project.
She said: "In My Shoes is meant to empower these youths to push past their limits and break down their barriers.
"I hope that there would be more youths who take part in sports, a first step to help them find their path."
The movement has been well supported by the track and field community, with athletes like sprinter Shanti Pereira, pole vaulter Rachel Yang, and high jumper Michelle Sng donating shoes.
The duo plans to branch out into clinics and scholarships to further help these youths.
Walton said: "Right now we're doing shoe donations, and then we are going to expand to sport equipment. We're targeting to organise a camp in December, focusing on sports nutrition and life skills.
"We want to support talented kids in athletics by providing bursaries and scholarships in the future."
Lim-Prasad, who has qualified for August's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, insists old shoes are just as good as new ones.
"Second-hand shoes are not necessarily less valuable than new shoes.
"If I give a budding athlete a pair of my shoes that I wore to qualify for the SEA Games, it would inspire him or her.
"The shoes not only has a sole, but a soul. A youth with dreams can certainly breathe new life into it."