The New Paper Big Walk began in 1991 with 7,000 participants. By 1999 the number of participants reached 76,000 and this feat was included in the Guinness Book of Records. When the Big Walk celebrated its 10th anniversary on 21 May 2000, the number of participants who signed up was 77,500. This earned the Big Walk its second mention in the Guinness Book of Records.
The route of the Big Walk is ten km and it begins and ends at the National Stadium. Walkers usually start off from the National Stadium towards Mountbatten Road, Nicoll Highway and the Merdeka Bridge and back via the same route to the National Stadium.
The New Paper Big Walk is organised by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). In 1995 the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) joined SPH as co-organiser with the aim of promoting walking as a form of exercise. The Big Walk is divided into two categories. The first group is for competitive walkers and the second group is for "fun" walkers. Since the Big Walk is a non-profit event, the proceeds from the registration go to charity.
The organisers of the Big Walk encourage participants from the "fun" section to dress up so as to make the walk as fun as possible. Participants can come as individuals or in groups. The participants include babies, children, adults, senior citizens and dogs too. Goodie bags are distributed to each participant. Publicity begins in March and several shopping centres throughout the island become registration centres for the walk. Events such as a Walkshop to show participants the correct way of walking have been organised. Tips on health matters are included as well.
Participants of every age, creed and kind. (1996, May 10). The Straits Times, p. 24.
77,500 entries make walk a smasher. (2000, May 22). The Straits Times, p. 39.
TNP aims to break Guinness record. (2000, May 9). The Straits Times, p. 38.
TNP walk a Guinness record. (2000, August 22). The Straits Times, p. 35.
Walking fitness test being planned. (1995, March 22). The Straits Times, p. 22.
The information in this article is valid as at 2001 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.