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Fostering camaraderie through cycling

Fourteen companies will take part in the inaugural OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship

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Gearing up for the OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship are the AMD Singapore team (above) and the Decathlon team comprising Denny Chew, Yeong Wai Mun, Khaniz Omar and Sazali Hussain.

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Gearing up for the OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship are the AMD Singapore team and the Decathlon team comprising (above from left) Denny Chew, Yeong Wai Mun, Khaniz Omar and Sazali Hussain.

Singapore

IT doesn't come as a surprise to hear that many employees at Decathlon - one of the largest sports retailers in Singapore - make sport a big part of their daily lives, especially while at work.

During a typical work week, its employees regularly spend an hour or two each time indulging in their favourite sport - be it badminton, basketball, going for a run or doing some yoga.

This month, five Decathlon employees will take part in the OCBC Cycle Speedway Corporate Championship, a new racing competition for companies.

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This race is one of the highlights of this year's OCBC Cycle 2017, the country's largest mass cycling event, of which OCBC Bank has been the sponsor annually since 2009.

Decathlon's sports leader Yeong Wai Mun, one of the five cyclists in the company's team for the Speedway Corporate Championship, said: "We have cyclists, triathletes, swimmers and many other sports enthusiasts in the company.

"Some of us have taken part in other races on our own before, and we've always thought of doing something together as a team. Once we heard of the opportunity at OCBC Cycle, we decided to sign up," said the national track cyclist and former elite rower.

The Speedway Corporate Championship race comprises 20 laps over a 400-metre course at the National Stadium. Each team must comprise four main cyclists and a reserve.

There will be three qualifying rounds of races on Sept 30 on the track of the National Stadium. The top four teams will progress to the championship final on Nov 18.

The winners will receive S$400 in prize money, the champions' jerseys and a plaque. A total of 14 corporate teams have signed up so far, and the organisers are hoping to attract two more teams to join the race. Registration closes this Friday.

Another team gearing up for the corporate race is from semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices (Singapore). The team members, aged in their 20s to 50s, are part of a small but growing group of cycling enthusiasts in the company.

A group of AMD employees took part in OCBC Cycle last year; this year, more than 50 people will take part in the event's various categories.

Managing director S K Goh, for example, will cycle in The Straits Times ride, a 23km race.

AMD senior manager Chin Jiann Min said: "This cycling event is a good way for all our employees to come together. Cycling is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of different fitness levels, which makes it more of a catalyst for employee bonding.

"We have a strong sporting culture at AMD. Our recreation committee regularly organises sports events such as futsal, bowling and cricket competitions. We have many employees who participate in marathons, triathlons and even the Grand Tour cycling routes in Europe."

OCBC's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching said the idea to involve companies in the Corporate Speedway Championship arose from a growing demand for sporting events by corporates for their employees.

"Companies are finding that camaraderie can be fostered through sport. Competitive sport has a unique way of creating very strong bonds.

"We hope that the teams will thoroughly enjoy the race on the tracks of the National Stadium. Losing is certainly not on the cards of any these teams. It will be an invigorating race!"

Besides the Speedway Corporate Challenge, other categories at OCBC Cycle 2017 include the 42km Sportive Ride and the Mighty Savers Kids Ride for families and children.

More details about the event, including registration information, can be found at www.ocbccycle.com