Singapore paddlers to attempt new 24 hour record in fundraising marathon

SINGAPORE, 14 May 2015 – This weekend, DBS is bringing a piece of Singapore’s biggest water sports festival to the heartlands. The public will get a sneak peek of Paddle for Good, a key initiative of the DBS Marina Regatta aimed to raise awareness and support for inclusive sports in Singapore.

Kicking off Paddle for Good is a 24 hour team relay led by the founders of Deaf Dragons – a competitive dragon boat team set up for deaf paddlers in 2012 – Debra Lam and Ryan Ng. The relay will be held at DBS Tampines Centre branch at Tampines Mall from 5pm16 May to 5pm17 May. The feat will see members of the Deaf Dragons team, Navy NSF, fellow competitors and volunteers take part in a round-the-clock paddling relay, switching every 10 minutes, in what will be a Singapore Book of Records attempt.
Paddle for Good simulates a dragon boat race, but will take place on land using indoor ergometer machines instead of boats. On 30 May 2015, the public will have the opportunity to form teams with and paddle alongside persons with disabilities (PwDs) at the DBS Marina Regatta. For every one kilometre paddled, DBS will donate SGD 100 to organisations that will use the funds to organise sports activities for PwDs. Donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Care and Share movement led by Community Chest.

In addition to the team relay, Ryan will also attempt a solo record during the final weekend of the DBS Marina Regatta on 13 and 14 JuneFrom setting up Deaf Dragons, Ryan and Debra have gone on to launch Society Staples, a social enterprise which hopes to empower PwDs in sports through an inclusive gym.

A passionate paddler, who also sees the potential of the sport as a force for good, Ryan’s personal best solo paddling effort saw him clock 180 km in 18 hours using regular gym ergometers. However, he is confident and looks forward to the 24-hour record attempt: “I’m looking forward to the challenge! The team effort will be hard work but good fun and I’m sure we’ll all keep each other going, but the solo attempt will be much more difficult. I really hope I can beat my previous best and set a new Singapore Record.”

“I first tried paddling at secondary school and have been hooked ever since. What first started out as just a sporting pursuit has since grown into a huge part of my life. I met my girlfriend through paddling. As we both have close family members with disabilities, we decided to set up the Deaf Dragons team, and Society Staples has really just followed on from that.”

Speaking about the initiative as well as Ryan’s record attempts, Managing Director and Head of Group Strategic Marketing and Communications DBS Bank, Karen Ngui said, “One of the objectives for the DBS Marina Regatta is to celebrate the human spirit and build an inclusive society, through sports. Paddle for Good is a one example where we encourage people from all walks of life, from all age groups and backgrounds, to come together to paddle for a worthwhile cause. We are delighted to work with Society Staples on Paddle for Good, and are humbled and inspired by how purpose-driven the young team from this social enterprise is.”

DBS is committed to championing social entrepreneurship and established the DBS Foundation in February 2014 to grow the social enterprise space in Singapore and the region. With a SGD 50 million fund, DBS Foundation will support social enterprises’ growth through activities including training workshops, intensive incubation, skilled mentoring, project grant support and knowledge sharing.

The DBS Marina Regatta spans three consecutive weekends from 30 May to 14 June and is designed to bring new, meaningful experiences to spectators, while showcasing some of the latest trends in Singapore and Asia. 2015 sees the DBS Marina Regatta join with the 28th SEA Games to bring the best of the region’s sailing and dragon boating to Marina Bay in celebration of SG50 and is part of the DBS commitment to ignite possibilities by the bay. Paddle for Good is one of many activities the public can participate in, ensuring that the DBS Marina Regatta really is an occasion for everyone.

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