More than 250 people in South East London – 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 London serving children, youths, families and the elderly.
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.
The event kicked off shortly after 1pm at Chislehurst Sports Club in the presence of Thakorji and Yogvivek Swami, Head Sadhu of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the 10-kilometre route which encompassed the grounds of the sports club. Along the route, participants were provided with refreshments and snacks by dedicated volunteers.
A family fun day had also been arranged, which included several bouncy castles and inflatables and also a petting zoo with donkey rides for young children. This year also saw two ‘smoothie bikes’, a new and innovatively healthy way to have fun and a nutritious drink! Riders would have to pedal a stationary bike in order to fuel the smoothie machine, which would produce a delicious, fresh smoothie.
Shivani Patel, 15, shared, “The chance to raise money for such a good cause and do it alongside my friends was an amazing experience. Carers UK looks after the individuals who spend so much time looking after others they neglect themselves, so it’s an amazing charity to raise money for.”
One of the lead volunteers for the event, Nishil Patel, added, “We’re grateful for the support of the local community and thank all the volunteers in making the day such a smooth success.”