It was the crack of dawn on the early morning of September 10th, volunteers were attentively up on their feet going left to right, as they worked their hardest to organise the venue for the long day ahead. Runners were arriving at IGB International School in groups of friends, energised and ready for the challenge ahead of them, participating in the 24-hour race. 

The 24-hour Race is a movement and a Running To Stop The Traffik (RTSTT) initiative, where young people across the globe are united to eradicate modern slavery. The 24-Hour Race is a compelling and unique way to introduce this initiative to a generation of youth from around the world. The Race encourages thousands of people from my generation to become change-makers.

There were more than 300 runners in this year's 24-hour race. Before the race, each team was required to raise RM1800 in funds. The proceeds were given to A21, a non-profit organisation fighting against human trafficking at a local, domestic and international level. The 24-Hour Race gives students the opportunity to fundraise to help their partnership company, which will help them rebuild a child advocacy centre in Pattaya, Thailand. 

Held at IGB International School, the race took place from the 10th-11th of September. Participants stayed at the school for the full 24 hours, either volunteering to make sure the event operated smoothly or being part of the race itself. Before the race started, Mr. Jason McBride (IGBIS head of school) gave inspiring speech about how the school supports the youth making a positive global impact and advocating for the better future of others.  Although the race was challenging, it in no way matches the lives of millions suffering under slavery and human trafficking. Several IGBIS students became race marshalls, who helped keep track of the runners' laps and the clean-up crew, who made sure that the venue was pristine to the best of their ability. As a first-aid volunteer, the race was an opportunity for me to apply my first-aid knowledge to helping the runners and ensure that they got appropriate treatment. It was a huge challenge for me to do my shift during the wee hours of the morning when the sun didn’t shine.

While the race was going on, ‘Grace Volleyball’ hosted a Volleyball tournament from 2-5 pm. The volleyball tournament was very entertaining with lots of games where teams were neck and neck. The ‘minute of silence was to commemorate the victims of modern-day slavery and it was done by raising flashlights, wearing glow sticks, and keeping completely silent for one minute.

At the end of the event, it paid off because one of our IGBIS teams, ‘Radiant’, won 3rd place for the most funds raised in the ‘all girls’ category. I’d also like to congratulate The Dolphins team for their great efforts.  

I was able to interview the organising committee of The 24-Hour Race and here are a few words about their experience holding the event at IGBIS. 

“As the Operations Director of The 24-Hour Race KL 2022, I was honoured to host our event at IGBIS, not just the venue but how they worked with us day and night for months. Although our whole organising committee went through a lot of difficulties due to COVID-19 and constant changes of SOPs, we have finally made it through the Race and we were very proud of this!” - Yewon Yoo, Operations Director

“The first post-COVID race has been a success! The best way to describe my experience is the incredible amount of exposure I got into the real world while being just a student. This was something I’ve never imagined I would explore and it has been a turning point in my life in making myself feel more confident and bold.” - Ria Shah, Community Director

IGBIS would like to thank the school community and students for participating in the 24-Hour race and supporting the movement. We hope that the awareness and movement will continue for many years to come. 

To learn more and enquire about IGB International School, or any of the IB programs (PYP, MYP, DP or CP), visit www.igbis.edu.my or contact us at +603-6145 4688

- Thesya Thiruchelvam, Grade 11 student at IGB International School