They help youth run for their lives, stay away from crime
Organisers of The Unlabelled Run aim to help young people stay away from crime
Kid without a father. Rebellious. Good for nothing - these are just some of the labels that Mr Raymond Tan had to deal with when growing up.
It affected him badly.
"I had to find the courage to ask for help and get better," the ex-offender from The New Charis Mission's (TNCM) Residential Rehabilitation Programme told The New Paper.
To help society rid itself of labels, Mr Tan, 39, who is now a staff member of TNCM, is helping to organise the upcoming The Unlabelled Run.
This year's event, which is in its fourth instalment, will be held on July 20 at Angsana Green, East Coast Park.
There will be a 5km Fun Run and a 10km Competitive Run.
The event's theme, See the Able, Drop the Label, is one that resonates with Mr Tan, who now mentors young people .
"The Unlabelled Run aims to cut off the young from the path to crime, to save them from a life of suffering by encouraging them and the whole of society to commit to 'unlabelling' themselves and others," he said.
The guest of honour for this year's event is Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament.
Started in 2016 and organised by events company Infinitus Productions since 2017, the run is a yearly initiative by reformed offenders from the Residential Rehabilitation Programme.
Under the unlabelling initiative, TNCM is also conducting Unlabelled Talks in schools featuring local celebrities Chew Chor Meng and father-and-son Jack and Joel Choo, with performances by Joel Choo and Scarlet Avenue to promote greater inclusivity and unity, and to address issues such as cyber bullying caused by labelling.
There is also a video-making competition, where the top three winners stand to win cash prizes, to allow young people to express what unlabelling means to them.
The National Youth Council (NYC) is supportive of the movement. An NYC spokesman said: "Through projects such as The Unlabelled Run, the youth can broaden their perspectives and engage with diverse segments of the community.
"This enables them to respect, understand and appreciate each other's differences."
The run will be from 6am to 10am. To sign up, go to unlabelledrun.com.
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now