Cristiano Ronaldo fronts Singapore Red Cross blood donation campaign

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) has launched its latest blood advocacy campaign, “BE THE 1” with the aim to encourage more people, in particular youths, to come forward and give blood. The campaign will be running until the end of July 2018.

To bolster the movement, “BE THE 1” is fronted by football superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo who is a strong advocate of blood donation. The statement added that Ronaldo first gave blood when he was 24 years old after seeing his teammate struggle to get bone marrow donations for his son. Since then, he is said to have been donating blood regularly, and avoids activities that would prevent him from doing so.

Following the launch, SRC has joined the ranks of more than 80 blood donation centres across the world that has come onboard this global movement. This is part of SRC’s ongoing efforts to expand the blood donor pool in tandem with Singapore’s blood usage projected to grow at a rate of 3% to 5% annually. That being said, SRB observed the number of youth donors going on a downward trend.

“Many young people are starting to take a more active interest and role in community service, moving from simply volunteering their time to taking the initiative to plan and organise charity events on their own,” Robert Teo, director of the blood donor recruitment programme at Singapore Red Cross, said.

In conjunction with the campaign, SRC also partnered Sport Singapore (SportSG) for their upcoming Singapore Football Festival. Held from 30 June to 30 July, the month-long festival will see a line-up of football activities and tournaments being organised across the island to encourage everyone to watch, play and celebrate football. As part of the partnership, Singapore Red Cross roadshows will be held at selected activities to spread awareness about blood donation.

To kick start the partnership, a "Be The 1 Football Clinic", will be offered exclusively to students from the various secondary schools and junior colleges under SRC’s network of bloodmobile organisers on 21 July 2018. The football clinic offers participants the opportunity to engage with coaches from the ActiveSG Football Academy, pick up tips to improve their skills, and enjoy a game or two with the coaches and fellow football enthusiasts.

In a press statement, Lim Tong Hai, team lead, ActiveSG Football Academy explained that football is a powerful tool to rally Singaporeans to show care for their fellow people, and hopes to raise awareness of blood donation among the participants and their families and friends during the Singapore Football Festival. He added that he too, will be encouraging the coaches and parents to take the lead in supporting the cause during the festival period and beyond.

“With the support of SportSG and DATE (Develop the passion And Teach Everyone), we aim to reach out to these students in a fun setting and encourage them to lead an active lifestyle, while learning about blood donation. Our hope is that youth will also be inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo to step forward and "Be the 1" to donate blood. Ultimately, we wish to encourage them to adopt blood donation as a lifestyle, much like keeping active, and to help spread the cause to their family and friends,” Teo added.