The Amazing Space Race
Winner Takes All
The Space Race (TSR) is a new series of 10 exciting trail running race to be held in 10 States throughout Malaysia starting January 2016, and the Winning teams from each series will qualify for the final championship to be held in Putrajaya. The stakes are high because the grand prize is an out-of-this-world trip to Star City, Russia for a once-in-a-lifetime cosmonaut training. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to participate in The Space Race, but you should be fit and strong physically, mentally and psychologically.
Two Men On A Mission
The Space Race (TSR) is the brainchild of Angkasawan Malaysia, Dato’ Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor – the first Malaysian in space – and Syukran Idris, the Managing Director of Moteevasi Media Sdn Bhd, a personal growth events and merchandising company. Using the The Space Race as their platform, these two men have joined forces to inspire our nation’s Youth to dream big, develop their confidence, ingrain the correct philosophy of science, as well as encourage youngsters to keep healthy and fit. As Syukran declares, “In selecting the theme DREAMS ARE POSSIBLE for the event we hope to inspire these youths to be the next Malaysian hero.” To help them achieve this massive undertaking, the duo have enlisted the support of the Astronautical Association of Malaysia (Astro X) – an organisation geared to educating the public in the field of Aerospace and Science – and of Fitmosphere – a fitness education and certification outfit.
Future Space Cadets
In 2007, Datuk Sheikh was launched into space after completing his 18-month cosmonaut training in Star City, Russia. “In today’s terms, it would cost USD50 million to send a man to Space for 12 days,” Dr. Sheikh beamed as he addressed about 100 children from Rumah Tunas Harapan shelter homes within Selangor, as part of a Corporate Social Responsibility project staged by Dr. Sheikh and Moteevasi in Shah Alam on 18th October 2015. On that memorable day, the bright-eyed children were treated to an unforgettable list of educational and fun-filled activities. As a warm-up act, there was a short fitness session conducted by trainers from Fitmosphere in which the importance of exercise was demonstrated to the young audience in a fun and interactive manner. The main event followed with an inspiring presentation by our Angkasawan. Looking at the lit-up faces of the orphaned children who were all seated upfront on the floor, I could tell that they were spellbound and hanging on to the Angkasawan’s every word: After all, how often does anyone get a chance to meet and take photos with a real-life astronaut? Not very often, especially if we consider that there are only 532 astronauts from 36 countries among our planet of 7.2 billion people. What a world of difference it certainly makes to have a real Malaysian astronaut explain in front of our very eyes his first-hand space challenges. In a surreal way, it made the vastness of space and our galaxy seem so real and closer to home than we could have ever imagined.
Having A Blast
Like The Space Race, the specially arranged outing for the underprivileged children was not all about the end game, but more importantly, it was about instilling self-belief and confidence to the young participants, and to encourage our Youth to have the courage to follow their dreams no matter how silly it may seem to others. Dr. Sheikh, himself, was only 10-years old when he first dreamed of being an astronaut, and 25 years later, he has successfully achieved his dream.
Next on the CSR agenda was the spectacular rocket launch conducted by the AstroX team to officially launch the event, and then, we all headed to the nearby Skytrex Adventure park where the children were able to fly, swing and glide on the various aerial obstacles suspended above the lush tropical Malaysian rainforest. Aside from the physical challenges, like the upcoming Space Race, the aerial course teaches the participants the importance of discipline and teamwork, as well as build their self-confidence through the satisfaction of being able to complete the course.
Racing To New Heights
To cap-off the CSR activities, AstroX conducted a “pop-rocket” rocketry Workshop for the children to stimulate their imagination and encourage creativity and at the same time, teach them the essence of space science. No doubt in my mind that the children will take back home some bits of information or experience from their outing which they will remember for a long time to come.
As for the launch of The Space Race, in this Digital Age where children spend more time on the computer than playing outdoors, and our fast-food culture is leading to more children suffering from obesity, it is refreshing to have a nationwide obstacle race which will not only encourage the younger generation to stay fit but also inspire them to DREAM BIG.
About The Author
Gus Ghani is a certified fitness coach and a Brand Ambassador for Compressport.
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