26 Jan Safety – Important in Increasing Activity for Young and Old
In the past, when I did my runs on roadside, it was safe to run. Hence, I was able to run about 10km to 20km, at times, per day, in fact, barefooted. I do not get injury as the terrain of road was made of tarmac. Gradually, I used to get a shoe to run, and I saw that still I do not get any form of injury.
However, over time, roads became very unsafe to run. It is right now tough to run on roadside. People, instead, run on on long stretches of pavement. This is good as it is safe to run from traffic etc. However, with the heavy pounding impact we get from the running on pavement and thus get injury easily. Many out there are not aware on why they get injury. My answer, from my own experience, for not only getting injuries, but also on slowing down the process on recovery comes from running on pavement. As such, it is advisable to, in fact, run minimally on pavements and do more runs on tarmac, dirt ground or grass field, or on treadmill.
It is therefore, safe to run, without traffic, at Mac Ritchie Reservoir, Bishan Park, Pasir Ris Park, Botanic Park, Fort Canning Hill, Turf City, East Coast Park, to name a few.
In Parks, safety problems come from cycling, rollerblading, scooter, etc. Some parks do not allow cycling and it is safe to run, like those at Botanic Gardens.
The other place safe to run in Singapore is stadium. Many stadiums are safe. However, some flaws are found in some stadiums and I am going to enumerate the points to highlight on how things can be avoided such that people are able to exercise more. If the public finds that it is unsafe to run on track, they will usually stop activity, and this is not fair for long term exercise and fitness as a lifelong pursuit.
Safety in Stadiums
(1) Water Hose
Sometimes water hose are kept on the floor at the D area of the rubberised track. It is used to water the field and the hose is coiled and placed on the floor and this should be avoided as people are bound to have a bad fall from it and they may land in hospital, or death may take place if it a real serious fall.
(2) Light Modern Goal Post
This goal post are found sometimes in the field or near the D area of the track. In the past, a goal post to be carried may need about 8 to 10 people as the material was very heavy to be carried. However, nowadays the material is light to be carried. There have been incident of death in Singapore and it has been reported in the press. Avoidance of this incident is important and we should not wait for one. When not in use, the goal post must be placed at far away fences in order to make the kids had to have accessibility to the goal post, unless if one wants to play.
(3) Equipments must not be placed on track if not booked
Usually, during public usage time, schools and other organisation should not put markers and cones to block the lanes of the track. At times, it was found that the track is not booked by anyone. In a track, if a lane is not booked, it should not be blocked. If an organisation blocks some lanes of a track, it tentamounts to booking, and there must be payment made. In reality, if investigated, the lanes are free for the public to run. The public sometimes give schools priority to run on nearly all lanes and they on the other hand sacrifice their run and go home to watch tv or do something else, instead.
(4) Field Usage by outsiders must be monitored
I have seen that some organisations, like junior soccer club, booking a field in a track, which is within the track, and the public is told that they have to avoid lane 1 to 5, as there are lane 7-8 in a track. However, some of the so called ‘friends’ who did not book the track are allowed to come in and kick at the other end of the goal post. It looks like a sub-letting, but it is actually permission granted by the booked party to welcome a friendly group to co-exist on the other end of the field where you have the goal post. More clarity must be made public to people as others also could ask the club for permission and it should not restrict others who also want to use the track, when the other half of the field is not used at all.
Usually, most of the time, long shots of kicking at goal post is what we have seen. I have also seen that some of the boys not able to kick properly, as their kicks sometimes go to the extreme right and sometimes to the extreme left, and the ball keep frequently hitting people on the track. It is wise for the person on duty to stop the person from kicking the ball to the track. If found, it is wise to tell the group to stop the activity or else the public who are running on the track will be affected by getting distracted to continue running.
The organisation that booked the field should be made accountable for allowing a group who keep kicking long shots
(5) Playing on the track
Some school boys have been seen numerous times to play on the track. It is wise for the officer around to request the boys to stop. If caught again, there must be a follow up by the officer in – charge as the track will be avoided by the party who has been frequenting the track for running. Even playing rugby and frisbee etc must be stopped if it has been found to be played on the track.