“We want to change that perspective, don’t stereotype that bikers are all bad.”
It was mid-day Saturday, and a group of bikers hung around at the void deck of Block 100 Aljunied Crescent.
It might have been an unusual sight for some, moreso with their bright red and black t-shirt with the words ‘Phantom’, congregating at the foot of a block in a small neighbourhood.
But this group of bikers, or Team Phantom as they call themselves, were there for one thing: to do good.
“This year, we joined with Chapalang. So this is actually our second time doing Charity events. The first time was the Ramadan event,” Mohammed, one of the members of Team Phantom recountered.
I first met the group during our Eid ul-Adha Charity Ride, where we distributed food packs to needy families residing in various areas around Singapore. We were assigned to three blocks in the Aljunied Crescent estate.
The group was jovial and friendly. They welcomed new faces, like me, with an approachable air. As an outsider to the group, the strong camaraderie between the members was clear to me.
Team Phantom was established in 1974 with the group’s initial intention of riding together. But recently, the group of bikers want to give back to society, to do more good for the community.
At the same time, the group aims to break the stereotype that ‘bikers are bad’.
Mohammed explains again: “We want to build this Phantom team, you know sometimes they stereotype bikers as bad. Now, we want to change that. We want to make sure that all the bikers in Singapore, those involved with Global Ehsan, come to do charity work. So, meaning we want to change the perspective that, don’t stereotype that bikers are all bad. It’s not true. So it’s time for us to give back to society, do charity.”
For Salleh, another member of the group, the recent involvement in charity events can be attributed to the shifting needs of the group itself. They see volunteering in a wider picture and they think it’s time for them to focus on doing good, rather than just riding for the fun of it.
During my conversation with Mohammed, he told me that Team Phantom aims to attract more youngsters to join the group.
“We want to attract youngsters to join and do good, give back to society. We try, we are trying to get more youngsters involved. Right now I think it’s okay, because I have one of my guys who is a counsellor. So I think he can do the talking.”
With the average age of the group being above 30, Team Phantom hopes to recruit more youths to join their good cause.
Mohammed’s best advice?
“Maybe what can attract youngsters is to just come and try out. Because that’s the best first step to take in volunteering.”
We feel the same way too.
When you’ve tried it, it will be easier for you to continue doing it. If you have not tried it, it might not be easy to start, especially if you have doubts or you think you don’t have time.
Meeting Team Phantom had been one of the highlights of my first Charity Ride event with Global Ehsan Relief Singapore. I came without knowing anything about the group, but after meeting the members, I’m convinced they are a bunch of friendly, easy-going individuals who have the best interest and welfare of their community at heart.
If you are inspired by Team Phantom’s story, you are more than welcome to join our volunteering community at https://www.global-ehsan-relief.sg/get-involved. Alternatively, you can also donate to any of our core projects over at our website!