SRM College of Physiotherapy at SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), Kattankulathur on the occasion of World Physiotherapy Day (8th September) attempt at the “Longest relay run with a flaming torch” from its Trichy campus to Kattankulathur. This occasion was registered with the Asia and India Book of records for an attempt at the “Longest relay run with a flaming torch”.
ROM (Resounding Overnight Momentous) 2021: THE PHYSIO RUN, was produced for the purpose of bringing up the cause of physical health, social inclusion and to re-integrate people back into our community, after the social dissociation that the COVID pandemic has imposed on our public.
This event was an overnight, non-stop relay, mirroring an Olympic torch relay, run from the SRM Trichy campus to the SRM Kattankulathur campus. The show was run by the Organizer Chairman Prof. T. S. Veergoudhaman, Dean, SRM College of Physiotherapy, the Organizing Secretary-Mr. T. N. Suresh, Vice Principal of SRM College of Physiotherapy, and the Convener of the event- Mrs. S. F. Mariyam Farzana, Assistant Professor.
The run began by 7:50 am on 7th September, 2021 with the inauguration ceremony headed by Vice Chancellor of SRMIST Prof. C. Muthamizhchelvan, and the chief guest was Dr. R. Shivakumar, Chairman SRM Trichy and Ramapuram Campus with ignition of torch and flag off. The run continued through the night, up until 5 pm on 8th September, 2021. The distance covered was about 287.2 kms (33 hours). The runners were 75 student physiotherapists of the college, who were selectively grouped into 4 groups, after going through a well- researched framed- screening and selection protocol. The runners were accompanied by buses, an ambulance, patrol vehicles, and supply trucks.
Our emphasis on keeping the fire in the torch burning in continuance and the constant movement of the team was give out a message that the fire—the energy depicts, our energy, is continual. We intend to spread this energy to all those around us. In a time, wherein the society has completely changed pre- and post- Covid, we take it as our own responsibility as health professionals to rejuvenate the members of our community and to bring them back to a state of healthy functional independence.
The run ended with a grand valedictory function in Dr. T. P. Ganesan auditorium chaired by SRMIST’s Pro- Vice Chancellor (Medical & Health Sciences) Dr. Lt. Col A. Ravikumar, Registrar Prof. S. Ponnusamy, Dean (Medical) Dr.A.Sundaram. The chief guest for this event was Mr. V. Devrajan, Olympian Boxer and Arjuna awardee, Adjudicator: Mr. Vivek. R. Nair, Asia & India Book of Record.
Some of the causes that we aimed to address were oriented to Health, Society, and Academics.
Through this mega overnight relay run, we first and foremost looked forward to address the known concept of physical health. The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the saying 'Health is Wealth'. We took up this opportunity to encourage the community to stand up, work their bodies and come together in oneness, mentally, despite the physical barriers to fight the virus.
The next message that we looked forward to displaying to the community by this run was ‘social inclusion'. We believe we have achieved this by including various categories of participants, like the Paralympic athletes, school students and transgenders, to spread awareness of the living of their community. As health professionals, specifically, physiotherapists, we find it our duty to not only spread awareness, but also be perfect examples to the public, to inculcate the spirit of oneness and plant the seed of inclusion of all members of the community into the minds of all, despite of variations of age, gender, physical and health status.
Due to the current pandemic, a part of the student population has been forced into confinement. Modes of teaching have taken up the platform of digital media. For this reason, we included school students in our run to showcase that energy can be created, preserved and imparted within the student population. We believe that the energy we pass onto them would further radiate towards other school students and so help raise up their activities for good. We see this as an opportunity to unite two levels of Institutions. We embraced this opportunity to provide to the student community what we had, to reenergize and to bring them back on the social track.
The entire event was run with precautionary measures taken by each participant and supporting members of the team. Each participant selected by the researched protocol are equipped with knowledge of injury prevention. For emergencies, the convoy following the runner had an ambulance (doctor and nurses) with medical kits. Covid Safety precautions were maintained. An inclusion criterion for participation of this event was to be vaccinated. We ensured that all Covid guidelines are been undertaken from the beginning to the end of the event.