6,000 showed up for runway cycling event at air base

Above right: Dr Maliki Osman (L) and his son (C) playing giant tumbling blocks with Mr Lawrence Wong (R).

Close to 6,000 NSmen and their families turned up for the annual National Runway Cycling and Skating (NRWCS) event Sunday morning. The normally out-of bounds Paya Lebar Air Base was closed for the day, giving families a chance to celebrate Father's Day differently.

SAFRA and the RSAF are the co-organisers of the event each year, and did not issue any official statement on next year’s event. However, AsiaOne understands from other sources that this could possibly be the last time the NRWCS event will be held in Paya Lebar Air Base.

Usually used for aircraft, the runway was opened to cyclists and skaters, while the hangers were turned into 19 play areas for families to bond. Cyclist and skaters participated in six non-competitive categories, with the 45km Endurance Challenge organised to commemorate 45 years of National Service.

The play areas were set up in support of the Dads For Life movement which encourages active fathering. NSmen and their families were treated to a host of activities and performances, including an F-16 Simulator and two static aircrafts on display.

Singapore's Minister of State for Defence and President of SAFRA Lawrence Wong was the guest of honour at the event. Mr Wong took part in some of the activities and interacted with participants, including some 77 children and their families from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore who were also invited to the event.

Dr Maliki Osman, Senior Parliamentary for Defence and Deputy President of SAFRA, also enjoyed some of the carnival activities with his 12-year-old son.

Commander of Paya Lebar Air Base, and Chairman of the NRWCS 2012 Organising Committee, Senior Lieutenant-Colonel (SLTC) Foo Yang Ge said: "This year's event is exceptionally meaningful as it coincides with the commemoration of 45 years of National Service.

"To allow the public to better appreciate some of the RSAF's capabilities, our NSmen demonstrated the arming of an F-16D+ fighter aircraft and the deployment drill of 35mm guns."

The event is in its 16th year and was organised to promote a healthy lifestyle.

natlim@sph.com.sg

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