Full house in Singapore continues the Corporate Challenge momentum
SINGAPORE, April 27, 2023 – Two events, two continents, two sell-outs. The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is back!
The 18th edition of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Singapore, back in its usual April race slot, registered a full capacity crowd of about 10,000 entrants from 300 companies – more than a 60% increase in total entries from 2022, when the Corporate Challenge held a soft-relaunch in November post the pandemic.
This Singapore crowd – together with the 14,000 participants that kicked off the Series’ race in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 30 – indicates the Corporate Challenge has retained its popularity among companies, and interest in team runs remain strong.
“What a pleasure it was to see a full capacity crowd of companies at our starting line,” said Wai Mei Hong, Senior Country Officer of J.P. Morgan Singapore. “We own and operate the Corporate Challenge globally and have immense pride to present a chapter of the story here in Singapore. The success of this year’s race reflects and reinforces our commitment to make this an annual celebration of fitness and camaraderie.”
The runners were flagged off by Guest-of-Honor Ms. Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, and Trade and Industry, at the F1 Pit Building in the Marina Bay district. J.P. Morgan led the way with a banner turnout of 651 entrants. Visa was the next largest company at 265 and the Agency for Integrated Care brought an impressive 250 employees.
“Large scale face-to-face events allow our employees an additional opportunity to gather and bond outside of work,” said Chew Chun-Liang, Team Captain and Deputy Chief, Silver Generation Division for Agency for Integrated Care. “There is an undeniable amount of positive vibes and synergy gained from physical interactions at in-person events, which virtual meetings simply do not have.
“This year, in the lead-up to the race, we had many ground-up initiatives involving employees coming together to train after office hours and I was deeply encouraged by their efforts to bond over a common interest,” Chun-Liang continued.
Asset management company Schroders, which registered 160 employees, points to the camaraderie of the Corporate Challenge on the race course and the hospitality village, where company teams can bond and network after their run, as the key value driver of its participation.
“It is at these events that we see diverse individuals from different teams getting acquainted with each other,” said Rachel Tan, Schroders’ Team Captain. “Events like these also provide opportunities for employees to socialise and get to know their co-workers outside of usual work responsibilities, breaking down barriers and encouraging teamwork. It is one of the ways to foster a stronger company culture amongst our employees.”
The Corporate Challenge has become a key social event in the city-state’s business calendar bringing employees of all skill levels together on the beautiful, urban 5.6km race course.
And, no Corporate Challenge runner in recent history is more decorated on Singapore’s course than Jasmine Teo.
Teo, representing Ice, earned her second consecutive J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge women’s individual title and fourth overall (she was also champ in 2017 and 2019). Her finishing time of 21:24 (6:07 mile pace) was enough to hold off second-place finisher Stephanie Lill of Brighton College Singapore who clocked in at 22:44.
“It was phenomenal this year,” Teo said. “My company really supports this. The enthusiasm was sky high, and it was great to see so many new faces. I consider myself very lucky to come in first this year.”
In the men’s competition, Shaun Goh from Fortinet Singapore won his first individual title, posting a 17:59 (5:08 pace) to outlast the 22:44 finishing time of runner-up Ben Khoo of DSM Nutritional Products Asia Pacific.
“It was really electrifying,” said Goh of his victory and the overall Corporate Challenge atmosphere. “I’m feeling really pumped. The race was really one of the first times for me to meet my colleagues after COVID.”
Keeping with tradition, J.P. Morgan will make a donation on behalf of all participants to the Rainbow Centre, was the race’s beneficiary for a second consecutive year. Through its work, Rainbow Centre has helped empower those with disabilities and enabled them to thrive in inclusive communities. About 30 of the Centre’s representatives and students successfully completed a shortened race route.
The Corporate Challenge Singapore debuted in 2004 and it appears poised to play an even more critical role in the business community than ever before.
“Remote and hybrid work arrangements are increasingly prevalent. Events like the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge are more important than ever before,” said Law Tat Win, Country Chairman, Chevron Singapore. “It is a chance to bring colleagues together to have some fun and foster common experiences. Our hope is that this lends to building a stronger company culture, more productive relationships and enabling effective teams.”
Lutfi Ghani, Team Captain, for global logistics company Kuehe + Nagel, agrees that the current working environment can benefit from the Corporate Challenge’s “sweatworking” environment.
“Events like this help to build relationships as it gives us a window to see what someone is like beyond a screen, beyond the office,” Ghani said. “This relationship-building initiative advocates trust and communication, which in turn helps drive employee engagement.”
The next chapter for the 47th year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series will unfold in Chicago on Thursday, May 18.