Published on 15 Feb 2024

Running and cycling with a purpose

NTU’s Best Foot Forward 2024 kicked off on 2 February with the X Campus Run, a vibrant and energetic event where students, alumni, faculty and staff gave their best shot to support the University.

By Sadia Roohi

NTU President Prof Ho Teck Hua with the X Campus Run competitive race winners.

Vanessa Sam, a third-year SPMS student, was the first runner-up of X Campus Run's 7km category last year. X Campus Run marks the start of Best Foot Forward (BFF) fundraising drive which is held from 2 February to 5 April 2024. She likes the fact that joining this race is not only a test of her speed, but the joining fee also serves as a donation to support the NTU Bursary Fund that she has chosen.

At this year’s Best Foot Forward flag-off run on 2 February at the Wave, she trained harder and emerged as the gold medallist in the female students’ 7km category and broke last year’s record. 

SPMS student Vanessa Sam participated in the race the second time and emerged champion.

She said, “The NTU terrain is quite challenging, especially the route around School of Biological Sciences is quite steep. However, it is always fun to participate in the race as a group of friends gets to run together.”

The intermittent rain did not deter more than 300 students, alumni, faculty and staff from taking part in the 7km competitive race and 3km recreational run. The event was flagged off by NTU President Professor Ho Teck Hua and NTU Runners’ Club president Muhammad Syafiq bin Haniss with student cheerleaders cheering the runners on. 

Asst Prof Houssineau with his four-year-old son, Adam, who was at the event to cheer his dad on.

The male open category's silver medal went to Assistant Professor Jeremie Houssineau, a faculty member with the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS) since January 2024. “The race is a great opportunity to be part of the NTU community. I had no expectations for the race, so I am very happy with my achievement. I felt lucky that the temperature was not too high. Having spent the last few years in the cold climate of the UK, I have not yet completely acclimated to Singapore's weather,” he said. 

Ng Jing Ying came in first in the female open category, completing her race in 32 minutes.

Ng Ying Jing, the champion of the female open category, is the co-owner of Pasta Express, an NTU eatery. She said, “My husband and I participated in the race because we wanted to contribute to NTU in some way as tenants of NTU. I did not prepare for the run, but it helped that I have always maintained an active lifestyle with running and spin cycling.”  

Pedal for good

NTU alumnus Daniel Chew with his daughter E-Shane, an NBS graduating student, pedalled stationary gym bicycles at the BFF flag-off event. Almost 300km was covered by faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters who took turns on the bikes.

Besides NTU students and faculty and staff, alumni turned up and pitched in to support Best Foot Forward too. For the first time, participants can clock their cycling distance to join in BFF, other than running or walking.

Among them was Daniel Chew (NBS/1996), a sporty alumnus who is also a member of the NTU Alumni and Development Committee. Together with his daughter, E-Shane Chew, a graduating student from NBS, they pedalled 30km at the launch event, contributing their distance towards OneNTU’s collective efforts of promoting fitness and meaningful causes. 

"There is an old African proverb that says, 'If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' We can go far when we go together to raise funds for our alma mater," said Daniel who is also an alumni donor of NTU. 

He believes in seizing opportunities to do things together as part of parent-child bonding, be it participating in sports or gifting to the University. Daniel has recently supported graduation giving as a parent to celebrate the momentous graduation of E-Shane in August.

"It is a bonus when we can continue to be active role models for our children, whilst helping other students who may need the extra support,” he added.

Run and walk anytime, anywhere 

NTU student Ng Tze Kean plans to clock his BFF distance while on exchange at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 

Another student participant, Ng Tze Kean, a third-year computer science student, plans to continue his run in China when he goes there for a student exchange programme this semester and has committed to finishing his 100km virtual race.

The bursary recipient has been awarded the Ng Bok Eng Scholarship which will support his exchange programme at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. “While I have been running regularly a few times a week, I have now started incorporating higher intensity workouts to prepare for the undulating terrains in China,” said Tze Kean.

All of this year’s champions broke last year’s records. The organising committee of University of Advancement Office and NTU Runners’ Club congratulates the following runners:

MedalOpen MaleOpen FemaleStudent MaleStudent Female
Lam Wai Kit
25 mins 17 secs
Ng Ying Jing
32 mins 15 secs
Tey Yi Jun
25 mins 47 secs
Vanessa Sam
30 mins 1 sec
Jeremie Houssineau
29 mins 23 secs
Neo Swee Hong
36 mins 4 secs
Cedric Chua Jian Hong
25 mins 52 secs
Ng Kai Yi
31 mins 33 secs
Kenny Kwek
30 mins 25 secs
Song Na
36 mins 16 secs
Quek Wei Kiat
28 mins 0 sec
Teo Jia Wen
33 mins 17 secs

View more photos of the X Campus Run.

Best Foot Forward (BFF) is a fundraising drive that brings together the OneNTU community all around the world to run, walk or cycle for a good cause. Virtual challenges continue until 5 April 2024. The registration fee of at least S$40 doubles as a donation to an NTU cause of your choice – NTU Bursary Fund and/or School Advancement Funds. Find out more and register here.

Related Topics