City Harvest Church’s latest sports initiative, The City Run, hosts its inaugural race at East Coast Park.
Contributed By Lim Jun Chen
|CN PHOTO: Jere Chong|
Limited funding, scarce resources, and a three-week deadline. Despite these odds, the AZ district, under the care of district pastor, Aries Zulkarnain, along with the City Runners—a group of dedicated and passionate sportsmen in CHC—organized The City Run, a five-kilometer race at East Coast Park. Flagging off at 8 a.m. on Sep. 25, the run was well-attended with more than 140 runners, children and adults from 38 different cell groups.
Jonathan Kang, part of the City Runners, was the main organizer for this sporting milestone. He explained, “God wants us to have life more abundantly, to live a better life and to live it to the fullest. Why not do it through sports and physical activities?”
As the first event of its kind, The City Run also aims to go beyond traditional cell group and zone boundaries, and move toward interaction on a wider scope. People from various CHC services and ministries, including Indonesian and Filipino members, had a chance to mingle with others in an informal, non-church setting.
Kang said, “Many people feel that Christianity and sports are mutually exclusive. If we serve in church, it means that we have to give up something else, such as sports. Many
have the mindset that to participate actively in sports, they have to give up ministry. But we’re here to prove otherwise, and to show others that both can be done.”
Kang went on to explain that it is important to recognize and embrace the culture of sports as many sportsmen in the church may feel like nobody in their cell group shares the same interests as them. The City Run, therefore, seeks to bridge the gap between these professionals and other sports enthusiasts in CHC.
There was a sense of satisfaction as all the participants crossed the finishing line. As they gathered for the award presentation, Kang encouraged the crowd by aptly quoting Fred Lebow, the co-founder of New York City Marathon, “In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack or last. You can say ‘I have finished,’ and there is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
Guest-of-honor, Zulkarnain, handed out vouchers and awards to the five fastest male and female participants, with medals awarded to the top three.
Peter Hendry, a member from the Indonesian service, commended the event’s organization and said, “It allowed me to interact and fellowship with my cell group and other people. We should do it again; I find it really good.”
The run was such a success that participants are calling for a larger event with a longer route. Surveys returned carrying overwhelmingly positive responses, with numerous comments for it to be an annual occasion.
For more information about future running events or the City Runners, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/City.Runners.