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Companies cheer for corporate race return
AFTER taking a hiatus last year, the OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship is making a return to Singapore's largest annual cycling event by popular demand.
Koh Ching Ching, the head of Group Brand and Communications at event organiser OCBC Bank, said that the Speedway competition format was very well received by the cycling community when it was first introduced in 2015.
"Overwhelmingly, employees of companies told us to bring it back as they found the race an excitingly different way to build team bonding," she said.
OCBC Cycle takes place on May 11 and 12 at the Singapore Sports Hub. The returning race and the OCBC Cycle Corporate Chase will come under a new corporate category called The Business Times Corporate Rally.
In partnership with The Business Times, this category will cater to cycling teams from Singapore companies. The winning team will receive prizes worth up to S$400.
Those who sign up for this category will also receive a complimentary six-month online subscription to The Business Times.
Many corporate cycling teams are looking forward to the return of the race category.
Ranjith Wijayaratna, a 58-year-old senior manager at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), said: "Ever since our first participation in OCBC several years ago, this has become one of the highlights of our sporting calendar."
Bronson Toh, a 36-year-old compliance and audit Manager, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has similar sentiments, adding that the race's unique format cannot be found anywhere else.
"It is a technical, short and extremely fast paced race which rewards teamwork and good strategy planning," Mr Toh said.
For both firms, this will be the third year competing in the OCBC Cycle.
Mr Wijayaratna said that about 15 per cent of the workforce at AMD participates in the race.
He stated that the company encourages its employees to lead a healthy lifestyle in order to be as productive as possible.
The company houses a well-equipped gym and conducts lunch-time yoga classes and high-intensity interval training sessions.
Similarly, GSK places a lot of emphasis in promoting workplace health and enhancing employees' well-being.
A former recipient of the Singapore HEALTH Award, the firm has a committee that organises sports activities such as bowling and futsal tournaments that are well-received by employees.
As far as training is concerned, GSK's Mr Toh states that preparation is mostly done separately because of the many different schedules of his team members.
They make it a point to stay updated with one another's progress with the help of social fitness apps such as Strava.
When asked for advice to other teams ahead of the race, Mr Wijayaratna cautioned riders not to overtrain, while Mr Toh stressed the importance of riding safe.
Registration for this year's OCBC Cycle closes on Apr 12, or when all the available slots are taken up. OCBC account holders will receive discounts on their registration fees. Visit www.ocbccycle.com for more information.
Amendment note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Ranjith Wijayaratna's job title as section manager; it is in fact senior manager. The article above has been revised to reflect this.