KUCHING – More than 300 runners dedicated to the conservation of orang-utans, sharks and rays, in conjunction with 451 individuals participating in 35 countries around the world, were flagged off this morning at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus.
The event, jointly organised by the University and the Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia), in partnership with Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, is the third annual Run for the Wild and the number of participants worldwide is growing with each year.
Faithful Kuching runners including musician Peter Paris and members of the Society of the Deaf are among those who continue to support the event each year. Organizations such as LONGi and Sarawak Energy brought out their staff in full force to take part in the conservation event, while long-time partner, Hotel Hilton, in addition to supporting their staff on the run, provided drinks and refreshments at a pit stop half way through the 10 km route. There, the runners will also enjoy artwork on wildlife and the environment by members of the Sarawak Artists Society.
Some 53 students of the University volunteered to help at the event, the majority being marshals, directing the way, and ensuring the safety of the runners on two long routes, one 5 km long and the other 10 km. Even though it’s the University’s semester break, one of the marshals, first semester Foundation student, Megannath a/l Jeganathan, even flew back from his hometown, Johor Bahru, to help at the event.
Upon their return from their run, the participants were treated to presentations by WCS Malaysia Director and Whitley Award winner, Dr Melvin Gumal, and WCS Indonesia Sharks and Rays Coordinator Efin Muttaqin. Asked about the response from the public, Dr Gumal said, “It is beautiful that so many generous people came together on a Sunday morning at various places around the world, to run for conservation. We hope that such generosity for wildlife spreads throughout in this season of giving and we’d like to thank all our supporters on the run and from throughout the world for taking the time to celebrate wildlife with us.”
To further promote conservation among the members of the public, side activities included a wildlife colouring competition for children, face painting and henna design as well as Zumba sessions for the more energetic.
Those who are interested to support the conservation of orang-utans, sharks and rays can still sign up to be virtual runners before 31st December 2017 at the following link: http://www.runforthewildmalaysia.com/virtual-runner/
Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak, with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Kahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin in Peninsular Malaysia. Currently, WCS Malaysia works to conserve four priority species – orang-utans, sharks and rays, elephants and tigers. Go to https://malaysia.wcs.org/ for more information on WCS Malaysia and visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WCS.Malaysia/ for updates.
For more information about Swinburne Sarawak, visit the university’s website (www.swinburne.edu.my), Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).