By Ignatius Koh
Joggers will soon have a new route to take at the end of this month: The rubberised blue jogging track on campus is getting a 1.3-kilometre extension.
The extension, which costs about $250,000, is linked to the existing 3km track at the zebra crossing opposite Nanyang Playhouse.
The additional track runs along the School of Art, Design and Media and ends at the Sports and Recreational Centre (SRC). It was built to enhance safety.
“Jogging is a popular activity on campus and the new track makes it safer for joggers as they can avoid running on the roads,” said Associate Professor Kwok Kian Woon, Associate Provost (Student Life).
The extension is part of efforts to maximise use of the campus for sports and recreation.
With the new route, the school hopes more students will take up jogging for a healthier lifestyle, Assoc Prof Kwok said.
The new track was greeted with mixed reactions from students.
Aaron Yeo, 21, believes more students will use the jogging track, as the new route is near Residence Halls 1, 2, 6, and 8.
“I think more people will use the track as the old one was nearer to Halls 12 to 16 and quite far (for those living further),” said the Hall 3 resident, a first-year student from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
But Lucas Kang, 22, a first- year student from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, said the track would only appeal to those who favoured the route.
“I usually run on the road or the pavement along the SBS stretch but the blue track doesn’t cover it so I might not use it,” he said.
Khairul Akmal, a first-year student from the National Institute of Education (NIE), also said several parts of the track posed danger to pedestrians and runners alike.
“Runners may have to weave through people at times, especially in crowded places like the stretch opposite NIE leading to North Spine,” added the 21-year-old.
Unlike the previous track, which ran alongside a pavement, the extension is a converted pavement, meaning that pedestrians and runners would be sharing the path.
But the track has also opened up more options for sports groups, such as the NTU Runners’ Club, to carry out their training sessions.
Executive committee member Chin Zheng Yee, 24, said: “We use the track very often and on an average basis, we usually run around 5 to 6 kilometres.
“Since it has extended to more parts of the school, we will use it during every run.”
Current students are not the only ones enjoying the track’s extension.
Goo Chee Tiong, a former student from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, travels to NTU almost everyday to use both the SRC and the new jogging track.
The 36-year-old Clementi resident said: “Overall, I think it’s a well-balanced terrain, and my friends and I prefer it because there are some uphills and downhills.”