Singapore

Big Walk 2017: Good weather, grand walk, great fun

President Halimah flags off 10,800 walkers at Singapore Sports Hub

It was lovely weather for the National Steps Challenge The New Paper Big Walk 2017 yesterday.

Cool and breezy, it was perfect for the Big Walkers, who started to stream into the Singapore Sports Hub from as early as 6.30am. Many began to stretch their muscles, warming up for the approximately 7.9km walk.

Others took selfies and wefies around the premises, adding to the festive atmosphere and camaraderie.

Soon, emcees Andre Hoeden and Catherine Robert from One FM 91.3, an SPH radio station, were leading everyone in the warm-up exercises.

The crowd cheered when the guest of honour, President Halimah Yacob, and her entourage arrived.

At about 7am, Madam Halimah flagged off the participants, and the Big Walk was on.

The 10,800 walkers made their way out of the Sports Hub and onto Nicoll Highway. They walked past the Singapore Flyer and back to the Sports Hub.

No age group was left out. Parents walked with children in prams or in their arms. Older participants walked at varying speeds, some even faster than the younger ones.

The National Steps Challenge The New Paper Big Walk 2017 yesterday.TNP PHOTOS: KELVIN CHNG, BENJAMIN SEETOR, ARUL JOHN

Running along Nicoll Highway in a 2XS size Big Walk Tshirt was Luke Chew, three, who was with his parents.

Asked if he was enjoying the walk, Luke nodded enthusiastically.

Luke’s father, Mr Christopher Chew, 36, and his family had not attended the event for some years.

“We came back to the Big Walk because it is so much fun. We are going to bring Luke for the next one,” he said.

KEEPING FIT

Mr Eugene Wee, editor of The New Paper, who joined Madam Halimah and the Big Walkers for the full route, said it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves while keeping fit.

He added: “The Big Walk is definitely an activity you can do with family and friends, in a way that is interesting and fun. It is not every day that you get to take a scenic stroll in a big group on closed roads.”

Spotted among the Big Walkers too were some who made the effort to dress up in a variety of costumes, such as the members of housewife Carol Scully’s Zumba workout group.

They were decked out in Christmas caps, reindeer horns and other Yuletide items.

Ms Scully, 57, said her group wanted to “spread the cheer of the Christmas season” during the Big Walk.

Even pets were not left out. Ms Shellen Tho, who is in her 40s, and her husband, Mr Anthony Tan, 66, took their five-year- old mixed-breed pet dog Sheena along for the Big Walk — the first time for all three.

For some such as Ms Joanne Lee, this year’s Big Walk was a homecoming of sorts.

The 59-year-old housewife proudly showed her certificate of participation from the Big Walk in 1994, which was held at the former National Stadium.

She said: “When I learnt that this Big Walk was going to be at the new National Stadium, I signed up out of nostalgia.

“It was great to walk along Nicoll Highway again, and I am so happy I did it again after 23 years.”

TNP Big Walk