Around 50 people in Havant – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual 10K Challenge on Sunday 22 April 2018.

The annual charity Challenge organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha brought together more than 3,000 enthusiastic participants from towns and cities across the UK for a fun and healthy way to raise money for various worthy causes and local charities.

The funds will go towards supporting BAPS’s multifarious educational, community and spiritual activities in Havant serving children, youths, families and the elderly.

This year’s event will also support Fitzroy Waterlooville for their outstanding work in supporting people with learning difficulties in the local area.

The 2018 Challenge will also be supporting BAPS’s national charity partner, Carers UK, the country’s only national membership charity for carers. It aims to make life better for the 6.5 million people in the UK who are supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.

Previous national partners for BAPS and BAPS Charities have included Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, the Anthony Nolan Trust, Barnardo’s, Breast Cancer Care, the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, KIDS, and Macmillan Cancer Support. Locally, the Challenge has helped Smiles UK in recent years.

The event kicked off shortly after 1.45pm from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in the presence of the Deputy Mayor for Havant, Cllr Peter Wade.

Addressing the gathering, Peter said, “I am so pleased to join you today in your charity challenge which you do every year. It’s so great to see so many people young and old participating. It's so good to see what your organisation does and I am grateful to you for inviting me today to your walk”.

After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the 10-kilometre route.

One of the lead volunteers for the event, Praful Thaker, shared, “It was a really great day. We have been doing these walks since 2006 and people love getting involved in the walks. It not only raises money for local and national charities, but also that awareness about giving back to our community.

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