People in Loughborough – from toddlers through to senior citizens – joined the BAPS Annual Challenge on Sunday 5 May 2019.
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 Loughborough serving children, youths, families and the elderly.
This year’s event will also support LWA – Living Without Abuse - in Loughborough. LWA believes that all people have the right to live safely and without fear of violence and abuse.
The 2019 Challenge will also be supporting BAPS’s national charity partner, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) – the UK’s leading charity campaigning and working to protect children from neglect, harm and abuse.
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, Carers UK, Diabetes UK, KIDS, and Macmillan Cancer Support. Locally, the Challenge has helped the Rainbows Hospice, Birstall Playgroup, Loros, Loughborough Sea Cadets and other local charities in recent years.
The event kicked off shortly after 11.00am from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Loughborough in the presence of swamis from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
After the opening ceremony, walkers, joggers and runners moved along the 10-kilometre route to complete the Challenge. Marshals were on hand along the route with refreshments and instructions as necessary.
Dev Valand, 15, shared, “Even though it was quite cold, we had a great time and we enjoyed the challenge because we knew we were helping those in need.”
Local lead volunteer for BAPS, Mahesh Sutaria, added, “Seeing so many people young and old coming out on a cold, Sunday afternoon for these worthy causes is always very inspiring. We thank everyone who continues to support our activities throughout the year at the Mandir.”