More than 1,000 people – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual 10K Challenge in London on Sunday 10 April 2016.

The charity Challenge organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) 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 from this year’s event will support BAPS’s multifarious educational, community and spiritual activities serving children, youths, families and the elderly.

Previous national partners, under the auspices of BAPS and BAPS Charities, have included the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, Breast Cancer Care, Age UK, Barnardo’s, KIDS, The Anthony Nolan Trust, and Macmillan Cancer Support. Locally, the Challenge has helped a number of charities and good causes. Last year’s event raised money and awareness for Rosa, a fund for women and girls in the UK.

The event kicked off shortly after 10am from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London in the presence of Cllrs Muhammed Butt, Krupesh Hirani, Ketan Sheth and Krupa Sheth.

Addressing the gathering, Cllr Muhammed Butt spoke of the community focus of Brent which is synonymous with the Challenge. “Community is about working together, looking after one another and being there for one another. That is what Brent is all about and that is what the Mandir is all about.”

After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the route from the Mandir towards the picturesque King Edward VII Park in Wembley where participants completed two circuits before returning to the Mandir. Young children completed a number of circuits of their own, around the perimeter of the Mandir, and were able to take part in various fun activities en route.

Nisha Patel, aged 13, shared her thoughts after completing the main walk. “It’s been a really enjoyable morning walking with friends in the sunshine and knowing that we are also helping to support good causes. It was also nice to see so many local people watch and meet us as we passed through the route.”

One of the lead volunteers for the event, Jay Patel, added, “We’re very pleased to see so many people – both young and old – as well as families come together to do something positive and enjoyable. We’ve been organising this for over 20 years and faced bitterly cold and wet weather in the past so it was a bonus to be blessed with sunshine. The enthusiasm to help others is why this event is so successful each year. We really want to thank all the participants and sponsors for this event.” 

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