More than 250 people joined the BAPS Charities Annual 10k Challenge in Leicester on Sunday 12 April 2015.
In total, over 3,000 participants walked or ran the 10 kilometres in about 20 towns and cities across the UK. The annual event brings together people of all ages and backgrounds around the country to do something healthy and fun and to raise valuable funds for a variety of worthy causes.
The official partner for BAPS Charities this year is the British Heart Foundation, the nation’s largest independent funder of cardiovascular research. The Challenge also raised funds for Rosa, a charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK. Locally in Leicester, BAPS Charities also supported another worthy campaign by Delete Blood Cancer, to increase the pool of lifesaving blood stem cell donors for cancer sufferers.
Previous national partners have included Barnardo’s, Breast Cancer Care, Diabetes UK, Age UK, KIDS, The Anthony Nolan Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support as well as the British Heart Foundation.
The annual challenge has evolved since its inception over 20 years ago. This year offered participants one of four very different physical feats to complete: the traditional 10km walk or run, a bike ride from London to Brighton or Paris, a gruelling Spartan Challenge, and for the really adventurous, a tandem skydive.
The event in Leicester kicked off shortly after 8am from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir on Gypsy Lane.
After the opening ceremony, walkers and runners moved around a marshalled route within the city. Along the way, participants were greeted by displays on safety awareness from the local Police and Fire brigade. Children were also able to look around a fire engine and have a go at using the water hose.
After completing the 10 kilometres, Shivam Mistry, 14, shared, “I really enjoyed running with my friends, especially because we knew we were helping other people who are ill and need help.”
Jagdeep Singh from Delete Blood Cancer thanked BAPS Charities and the participants by saying, “Your support and that of the rest of the community was absolutely fantastic today. We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support given and kindness shown.”
BAPS Charities volunteer Neil Sharma added: “It’s a been a wonderful day, especially seeing so many people of all ages coming together in making a contribution to these great causes and giving back to the community.”
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