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Thursday, 7 December 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

University hosting biggest conservation run for the third time

KUCHING: Students of Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak campus will come out in full force to support Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Malaysia’s annual Run for the Wild programme this Dec 17.

The university will play host to the city’s biggest conservation awareness run for the third consecutive year. Jointly organised by WCS Malaysia and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, the run is expected to attract 280 university participants in the 5km and 10km, as well as the 1.5km fun walk in support of orangutans, sharks and rays.

“Swinburne Sarawak has a long history of collaborating with WCS Malaysia on the annual Run for the Wild and Ride for the Wild events, providing the venue and volunteers from among the university’s student clubs such as the Green club, running, cycling, football, debaters including student leadership and volunteers programme.

“For the student volunteers, being part of the event provides them the opportunity to do their part in promoting conservation efforts to the younger generation,” the university said in a statement.

Second-year robotics and mechatronics engineering student Marco Lai Chung Yi, who will be the lead marshal and 10km pacer, said he initially did not have much knowledge about conservation issues but being involved in such an event had given him a new sense of purpose.

“As a volunteer, my involvement does not only expose me to issues that are happening in Malaysia and around the world, but also indirectly helps to highlight the importance of conservation by raising funds and awareness in society,” Lai said.

He encouraged people to volunteer and understand the bigger picture and purpose of volunteerism, particularly in wildlife conservation.

First-year civil engineering student Eunice Loo Xuan Tong said small acts, when multiplied by millions, can transform the world. He believed that volunteerism is not about working for applause, but doing it for a cause.

Postgraduate research student Nur Diyana Musa always tries to take some time off to volunteer in conservation events as it gives her great sense of satisfaction.

She believed the younger generation has strong opinions and a lot of energy, which can be put to good use in volunteering for conservation events.

Swinburne Sarawak Associate Dean in the Faculty of Language and Communication and senior lecturer Christina Yin, who is also the university’s Green Club advisor, found it heartening to see so many students volunteering for the conservation cause.

“We hope that more young people, not just Swinburne students, will actively change to more sustainable living.

“Being developed should not mean that we show off our progress by increasing our carbon footprint or by surrounding ourselves with new gadgets and fashionable clothes and accessories.

“We should live sustainably and make sure that there’s a healthy future for our children including the nature and wildlife around them,” Yin said.

Although registration for the run has closed, the public may join the Virtual Run, which takes place throughout December.

They can also sign their children up for the Wildlife Conservation Colouring Contest on Dec 17.

For details, visit www.runforthewildmalaysia.com