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1,100 cyclists joined together and celebrated the end of the year 2011 and the beginning of 2012 at the third edition of Malakoff Interstate Fellowship Ride (MIFR).
Day One of the ride started from Youth Park, Penang and took the cyclists around the magnificent island of Penang and back to Youth Park. The route covered 70km of rolling and a challenging climb up Jalan Tun Sardon, which saw some cyclists pushing their bikes up the stretch of road. After 2 hours of cycling, the cyclists were seated under a huge tent at Youth Park for a well-deserved lunch. At the lunch, the proceeds collected from the cyclists’ registration fees, a total of RM50,000 were presented to St John’s Ambulance Malaysia, the recipient of this edition of MIFR.
Speaking about the event, Malakoff Corporation Berhad’s Chief Executive Officer, Zainal Abidin Jalil said, “The Malakoff Interstate Fellowship Ride is running into its third consecutive year now and I am delighted to note that the ‘Sports for Charity’ concept has garnered increasing interest and participants over the years.”
“In a span of three years, the Ride has raised RM125,000 in total, for three organizations, namely National Autistic Society of Malaysia, Penang Bahnhof Youth Centre and for this year, St John Ambulance of Malaysia. The great response received over the past three years had been a key motivator for all of us to continue to make the Malakoff Interstate Fellowship Ride a resounding success,” he added.
A strong supporter of the event since its inception, Yang Berhormat Lydia Ong Kok Fooi, Chairman of State Youth and Sports & Women, Family and Community Development Committee, said, “The State Government of Penang is proud to co-organise this event for the third consecutive year and this Ride is very much a fixed event in the State’s sporting and charity-based calendar. This initiative is in line with the State’s move to promote the LOHAS lifestyle or ‘Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability’ and will continue to be part of our continuous efforts to promote community sports in Penang.”
The heavy rain and strong wind that greeted the cyclists at Youth Park on Day 2 didn’t dampen their spirits to continue with the remaining 180km of the ride. The cyclists, clad in the limited edition MIFR 2011 jerseys, were flagged off from Youth Park. The huge group of cyclists was escorted to ride across the Penang Bridge, a signature of MIFR and the only time bicycles are allowed on the bridge.
Cycling across 3 states – Penang, Perak and Kedah – was not an easy feat, even for experienced cyclists. 3 feeding stops were put on the course to tailor for the cyclists’ need of hydration and nutrition. Water, isotonics and bananas were laid in boxes for cyclists to replenish and refill, with the help of the untiring volunteers.
After conquering the route on the Mainland, the cyclists re-grouped and were brought back to the island by ferries! Many were excited and took the opportunity to have their pictures taken while they were on the ferry. Some haven’t been on the ferry since they were young, and what made it sweeter was that this time around, their modes of transport were bicycles instead of motorized vehicles!
Back on Penang Island, the cyclists were greeted like champions at Dewan Sri Pinang, and presented with a colourful parade of Malaysian culture. The cyclists were then escorted back to Youth Park, at the end of the 2-day cycling event, tired but contented that they were able to combine their love of cycling with contributing to charity. And that’s the spirit that Malakoff endeavors to instill in its stakeholders with MIFR, as part of its Commitment to Community Sports under its CSR platform, The Malakoff Community Partnerships.
Once again, Congratulations to all cyclists and we hope that you’ll be back for MIFR 2012!
A big round of applause and gratitude also goes to committee members and volunteers from Malakoff, Penang State government, Majlis Sukan Negeri Pulau Pinang, Polis Di-raja Malaysia, Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang, Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai, Knights of The Round Table, Jabatan Pertahanan Awam, St John’s Ambulance, Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia, Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan, Penang Bridge, Penang Port Commission, Lingkaran Luar Butterworth, Delta Business Solutions, MKH, Ciclista, Gin Huat Cycle Trading, KTM, and friends from the Media, TV3, Cycling Asia, Cycling Malaysia and China Press, and to those directly and indirectly involved in making MIFR a success!
*Photos courtesy of Cycling Asia