Introduction and Origins of the Event

For those unaware, the Rotaract Club of Sunway University is fairly well known for its annually organised flagship event Sunway MS Walk, its origin arising from the condition known as Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is a condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks the brain and spinal cord, ultimately causing problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation, and balance.  MS Walk by the Rotaract Club at Sunway University has been an annual event that has been held for more than a decade alongside the MS Society Malaysia.

The parent club of RACSU, the Rotary Club of Sunway, offered them to host and organise this highly valued event. Moreover, it has been held to raise awareness regarding multiple sclerosis and to raise funds for the patients facing this condition. Multiple sclerosis affects each person differently—some may encounter numbness or attacks concerning the nervous system and at times, they may even become temporarily paralysed. As such, it has been said that it is difficult to detect the illness, with cases of patients even being diagnosed five years later. In a nutshell, MS Walk, a complete charity event, aims to spread awareness and knowledge regarding multiple sclerosis and to support the patients who are experiencing it.


On 18th May 2024, at 6 am participants were seen starting to gather at Sunway University’s Football Field before the MS Walk officially commenced. Some participants, particularly those who registered during the flash sale which was introduced 2 days before the event, headed to the college foyer to collect their T-shirts and secure their bibs and number for the walk. Around 6.15 am, the committee greeted the participants and welcomed them with a zumba session as a warmup for the walk later. The participants, who varied from all walks of life— children, fellow students and working adults—were highly enthusiastic during the zumba session which was led by a fellow Sunway student. They were also joined by Sunway’s infamous mascots; the SunBears — Sophia and Samson.

Zumba session

After wrapping up the thrilling zumba session, the district Rotaract representative presented a lighthearted speech to boost the participants’ morale. This was followed by a short but detailed briefing on the necessary health and safety guidelines, as Sunway’s Rotaract Club had placed a considerable amount of care and importance on making sure no incidents should occur. 

At 7.00 am, all the participants trooped down to Sunway University Foyer’s entrance which marked the starting point for the walk. The flag-off officially began with the 2.5 km lap which was mainly planned for the multiple sclerosis patients and other disabled members of society including those on wheelchairs. Fellow participants cheered them on as the horn blew and they raced off excitedly. The 5 km flag-off commenced a few minutes after the 2.5 km flag off and the crowd surged forward determinedly.

Flag off for the 2.5km walk

Participants beginning their walk from Sunway University

The route for the walk had been meticulously planned by the MS Walk committee members and each stretch was marked with a clear kilometre mark point for the participants, with student volunteers available at every 0.1 km to ensure the safety and welfare of those participating. Due to it being held on a weekend, many families were seen with children running ahead and parents bonding with them, proving MS Walk to be a family-friendly event as well. Those who attended got to experience the roads weaving inside Sunway City and observe landmarks and buildings that seem the same when driving by but look different up close. Some don’t realise that the things we assume will always be there can easily be taken for granted; however, it is essential to appreciate them.

Participants receiving refreshments after completing the walk

Receiving their medals

Refreshments were provided at the end of the route at Sunway College’s entrance, which were sponsored by Yakult, Oatbedient and Vida. Those who completed the route were also presented with a medal and an e-cert at the end of the route. Many were feeling energised after the walk and were also looking forward to the events scheduled after the walk. Moreover, Sunway’s Cheerleading Club had also prepared a performance to encourage and hype up participants who were arriving back to Sunway College, as a one last hoorah for their last few steps. Overall, 480 participants spanning across various walks of life graced the event to show their support to the multiple sclerosis patients and around 120 student volunteers had assisted in ensuring the event concluded smoothly under the guidance of the dedicated committee members.

The district Rotaract chair and the President of Malaysia’s Multiple Sclerosis Society Rizal Al-Amin Aminuddin, officiated the closing ceremony by thanking everyone for their support and dedication and emphasising awareness concerning multiple sclerosis. Later, the crowd was allied to disperse to acquaint themselves with the booths available at Sunway College’s Boulevard. There were info booths where they could educate themselves further regarding what multiple sclerosis entailed and what the patients experienced. The committee members had also prepared a photo booth and invited a few external vendors, such as a henna booth for the attendees to entertain themselves. Additionally, the MS Walk committee had also arranged for entertaining performances by Sunway’s Dance Club and a solo vocal performance by a student for the crowd to observe and enjoy. The event concluded at 11.00 am, marking another successful flagship event in the books of RACSU.

Thoughts from Participants

Echo also had the opportunity to squeeze in a few thoughts and opinions from those who participated in MS Walk. Here are a few of their comments:

Describe why you joined the event and what you had gained from it.

Hanuja: Initially I joined the event as my friend asked me to join, but I also felt better attending the event as I felt more physically improved and healthier. It also boosted my self-esteem.

Abyrami: The promotions and ads the Rotaract Club posted made me eager to join the MS Walk. I wanted to participate because I had never participated in such events before. It was a new and eye-opening experience for me.

This walk showed me that there are millions of people who could have this disease, but I am proud to see that many people are supporting and encouraging them. During the walk, I saw adults participating, which motivated me even more to support the younger generation affected by this disease and to help the community.

Dveshana: I joined the event because I wanted to gain more knowledge about multiple sclerosis itself. I learnt that nothing is impossible and you can still achieve anything you want as long as you put your mind to it. 

What was your most memorable memory from the event?

Hanuja: The best part of the event was undoubtedly being able to spend time with my friends—I hadn’t been able to meet them for a while, so this event was definitely a great opportunity for me.

Abyrami: I don’t think I even realised the time while walking, I got to enjoy the scenery and the whole environment while talking with my friends. It was quite memorable.

Dveshana: ⁠I got to see many people living their lives despite everything that they might be going through.

Behind the Scenes

We also had the opportunity to chat with the organising chairperson of Sunway MS Walk and Vice President of Rotaract Sunway University, Liivenesh regarding the planning process and his thoughts on the future of the event.

The Rotaract Club of Sunway University had already commenced planning last November, with the recruitment of the committee members beginning in December. In the meantime, the executive committee started drafting out budget, event flow, proposal and other minor event details. By the end of December, they had formed a full committee and had also begun their meetings which were mainly held physically. 

During the span of 3 months from February to April, the committee worked tirelessly to improve marketing strategies, such as having booths on campus and also looked into other avenues to fundraise as well. The foremost matter, of course, was the route planning—the committee had several meetings with the security, traffic police and medics as they looked into the best routes while prioritising the safety of the participants. They even tested out the routes and planned the checkpoints for each volunteer.

In general, the committee members worked together fluidly and managed to complete tasks on time under the watchful eye of the exco members who also created a task tracker to be updated on any changes or worries. Everyone also had the opportunity to voice out their suggestions or opinions as they brainstormed together to further improve the quality of the event.

Regardless, the team did face a few hiccups amidst their planning. As the event is slightly unusual from other college events, some of the committee members had to learn event planning details from scratch and assimilate themselves to the difference in organising. They also faced a few issues when dealing with external parties, as it proved to be challenging to streamline ideas or details due to late responses and also learning how to accommodate them. The routes for the event required thorough planning and care too. According to the organising chairperson of the event, members had to stay overnight on campus to assist with set up and planning as the event began quite early in the morning. Nevertheless, they managed to successfully pull off the event the next day due to their unfailing dedication.

Hopes and Aspirations

The organising chairperson did share a few of the committee’s collective thoughts and hopes regarding the event. To reiterate, the event is held annually for participants to gain more awareness regarding multiple sclerosis as it is considered to be a lesser-known illness. By learning more about the symptoms, people may be able to identify the condition earlier on itself—especially among family members. And as a form of echoing the slogan, ‘walk to create hope’, the event is a form of support and hope for patients of multiple sclerosis. 

Personally, Liivenesh hopes that the committee members of MS Walk get to draw valuable experiences from the whole event, as well as understand that helping out or volunteering for patients is not a one-time thing but a role that he hopes they would carry on fulfilling. He also wishes for them to be more independent and confident when organising any events be it under Rotaract or beyond.

Thus, this concludes MS Walk for this year. But fret not, as there’ll be different versions of MS Walk to be looked forward to in the upcoming years. With its ever-evolving quality, every MS Walk proves to be a better version than before, including this year’s. Echo Media also hopes to continue supporting MS Walk and hopes to spread more awareness regarding multiple sclerosis.

Written by: Poorani

Edited by: Ruby

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