Diplomats Race to Spread Green Message

Some get around by bus, others by car or the bicycle, but the trishaw?
On Sunday, 36 consulate staff from 12 different foreign missions will, in teams of three comprising two passengers and a rider, manoeuvre their trishaws across various obstacles in a race.
The race is one of the many activities of the Singapore G1, to raise awareness of green transport technologies and green alternative energy through educating and engaging the public.
The Singapore G1 is a family event organised by the Singapore Environment Council at The Float@Marina Bay.
Mr Ole Sorensen, the head of the Royal Danish Embassy’s trade department, is adequately prepared for the race.
He swims every morning, runs at MacRitchie once a week and also mountain-bikes.
Mr Sorensen, who does not have a car, takes the bus to work.
“I would cycle to work if there were special lanes for bikes like in Denmark,” said Mr Sorensen, who is in his 50s. “You don’t really need a car in Singapore because public transport here is good.”
He also tries to reduce his carbon footprint by limiting long-haul overseas trips to only three a year, now that he is based here.
Pedalling in the hot seat for the Embassy of the Republic of Korea is Defence Attache Lee Jong Chul.
“He’s a military man and I’m sure he has been keeping fit,” said Mr Lee Yong Hwan, the embassy’s Commercial Counsellor.
“However, the focus for us is not on speed but our costumes and our green message of ‘Low Carbon, Green Growth’, which in 2008, was declared as a Korean national catchphrase,” said Mr Lee.
Asked how this message would be displayed during the race, Mr Lee said it will be a “surprise” to be revealed on race day.
What he would say, however, was that the trishaw’s passengers – two female staff members – will be in Korean national attire.
The British High Commission, on the other hand, is fielding an all-female team.
Its team captain, Ms Julia Sutherland, has been using her bike as her main mode of transport since her university days in Cambridge but this will be her first experience on a trishaw, said spokesperson Nicola Hawdon.
Ms Sutherland is the commission’s First Secretary and Head of Chancery.
“Our strategy is to have fun,” said Ms Hawdon.
“To optimise our speed for the race, we have chosen as passengers the most petite staff members that we could find, so as to maintain the lightest load possible.”Other events happening at the G1 include a soap-box car race, a buggy race and an eco-car race.

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