Run the Night: Ng May Chan – Preparations for the Big Day | SPD - Singapore

Run the Night: Ng May Chan – Preparations for the Big Day


Ng May Chan is a trainee at SPD's Sheltered Workshop.

Dozens of marathons and running events are packed in Singapore’s running calendar every year. Race packs and what go in there are highlights for some participants. But have you wondered who are the people behind putting these race packs, thousands of them, together for a marathon? 60-year-old Ng May Chan is one such individual working behind-the-scenes. She and her fellow trainees at the SPD Sheltered Workshop have assembled countless race packs for major events.

SPD is a non-profit organisation that focuses on helping people with disabilities, and supported employment and training at the Sheltered Workshop is one of the programmes it offers to help gear persons with disabilities towards independence.

Packing jobs like these that are contracted to the workshop provide training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

The trainees at SPD's Sheltered Workshop do work such as packing, binding and boxing for corporate clients.

May Chan, who has cerebral palsy, became involved in assembling the race packs for Sundown Marathon five years ago. Since then, she has been mobilised to support the project every year.

Although she does not participate in the marathon, May Chan has attended the after-party once or twice. She talks to Run the Night magazine’s editor, Jackie Teo, and shares how she and her friends at the Sheltered Workshop contribute to one of the biggest running events in Singapore.

How long have you been helping out for Sundown?
May Chan: I remember starting out five years ago. I like to help out at these events because I feel like I can contribute more to the society. The duties may be simple but one has to really concentrate to make sure nothing is missing in the pack.

What do you do at the Sundown Marathon?
May Chan: I pack the race packs for the event participants. Every event, there will be close to 100 of us who volunteer to pack. It’s not the same thing every year either, as the tasks given will be different. Sometimes, it can be the simple packing of products, other times it can be sticking labels onto different things. There are thousands of items to prepare so we have to be meticulous.

Have you been involved with other events?
May Chan: Yes, SPD often encourages us to be involved in other events to work, and every year we are involved with a few! The most productive and interesting for us, though, is always the Sundown Marathon as the scale of the event is bigger.

What do you look forward to at Sundown?
May Chan: I like the event after-party! They have music and entertainment, and it is always vibrant and with lots to do.

What do you do in your free time?
May Chan: I like to chat with my friends, and go on excursions with SPD.

Article adapted and printed with permission from Jackie Teo, editor at Boldink for “Run the Night 2018” magazine.

Photo credits: Lionel Kong, Boldink Editor


To know more about the Sheltered Workshop at SPD, click here.