Early last month; a long-distance race ‘with a difference’ took place at R.E.A.L Schools, Cahaya Campus, Shah Alam and its neighbouring surrounds of Kayangan Heights. The concept of the ‘colour run’, which was inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi, made its debut in the United States when the event first took place in March 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Since then, it has rapidly gained popularity and became the single largest event series in the world when more than 300 events were held in over 50 countries in 2014 alone.
R.E.A.L Schools’ very own version of this unique race was dubbed the ‘R.E.A.L Colour Burst Run’ which; apart from promoting fun, healthy activities amongst students, also doubled up as a charity event to raise funds for a humanitarian trip to Cambodia. With over 200 hundred participants signing up for the event, anticipation and excitement was palpable in the air as the participants; all uniformly clad in white T-shirts emblazoned with the event name; braced themselves for the start of the run and to be smeared with a rainbow of colours.
There was a surprise appearance by several notable guests in the form of four local celebrities who came to lend their support for the noble cause. They were HITZ.FM announcer, Alexis Sue Ann; lead guitarist of the band An Honest Mistake, Leonard Chuah; model and 8TV Quickie host, Mark Odea; and Miss Malaysia Universe 2015 finalist and former student of R.E.A.L Schools, Cahaya Campus, Shah Alam, Pauline Tong. Their presence certainly added a touch of glamour and hype to the event.
Participants were divided into three categories; namely the 3km Under-18s, 3km Over-18s and 5km Open Category. A total of 30 medals were up for grabs for the Top 5 males and females in each category. The 5km runners were the first group to be flagged off followed by the 3km runners 20 minutes later. En route, they were ‘ambushed’ by Cahaya staff members who were stationed at strategic spots, armed with water guns and barrels of coloured water. Upon crossing the finish line, the top runners were duly presented with their medals while the rest were able to show off their now-colourful tees, a prefect memento that befits the event.
Two days later and with RM10,000 worth of donations raised; a group of six teachers two students from Cahaya (accompanied by a parent) departed for the scheduled humanitarian aid trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The places visited during their five-day stay included a local orphanage, a Russian children’s hospital, a Methodist school and a government school in a rural area. Among the various charity work that the Cahaya team carried out include repair works, repainting of the premises and teaching children English.
The trip was certainly an eye opener for the students. More importantly, it espouses the core values of R.E.A.L and is synonymous with its mission to transform lives which in this instance, even transcends borders. A big and special ‘Thank You’ goes out to every person whose invaluable support, contribution and generosity made all this possible and worthwhile.