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Over 1,500 Participate in BAPS Charities Annual 10K Challenge, London

From toddlers through to senior citizens in their nineties, over 1,500 people from the local community in London raised funds and awareness for a variety of good causes in a fun and healthy charity event on Sunday 27 April 2014. 

This year’s BAPS Charities Annual 10K Challenge partnered with Diabetes UK, the leading charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of every person affected by or at risk of diabetes – including the 3.8 million people in the UK that are currently diagnosed with the condition.

As part of the Challenge, participants were asked to walk 10 kilometres, while for the more energetic, there was an option to jog or even run the distance. Despite the damp weather, all those taking part showed tremendous high spirits and enthusiasm. 

The Challenge this year builds on 20 years of sponsored events. Previous national charity partners have included Macmillan Cancer Research, Barnardo’s, The Anthony Nolan Trust, The British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer Care, Age UK, KIDS, as well as Diabetes UK. 

The event kicked-off at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London shortly after 9am in the presence of Baroness Barbara Young, CEO of Diabetes UK. Also present to offer his support was The Worshipful Mayor of the London Borough of Brent Cllr Bobby Thomas, as were Cllrs Muhammed Butt, Zaffar Van Kalwala, Paul Lorber, Suresh Kansagra, Colum Moloney, and Ketan Sheth. In addition, PPCs Ibrahim Taguri, Kishan Devani and John Detre were also at the event. 

Prominent members of the Punjab National Bank, who had contributed generously to the event, also joined the opening ceremony. The event was also supported by local companies who had kindly donated healthy refreshments for the walkers and runners. 

Addressing the gathering, Barbara Young reiterated that Diabetes UK is “incredibly pleased to be associated with the Challenge.” Noting that diabetes particularly affects the South Asian community, she added that Diabetes UK was pleased to join BAPS Charities in helping people become aware of and deal with the condition. 

She continued by saying: “We are particularly pleased to be working with your [BAPS Charities] healthcare team who work tirelessly to bring an excellent service.” The Baroness also offered her support for the diabetes screening sessions that are regularly organised by BAPS Charities. 

The Mayor also addressed the assembly. “It is perhaps very fitting,” he said, “because here in Brent we are probably the borough that is affected most by diabetes. It is also good to see youngsters taking part for a good cause. I hope today is about healthy lifestyle and that you enjoy the walk and run.” 

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. 

BAPS Charities volunteer Dr Sejal Saglani added, “We are very grateful to Diabetes UK who have worked closely with BAPS Charities to raise awareness about diabetes. We believe that this year’s Challenge has been even more popular despite the weather and are hopeful that generous sums will have been raised to help the charity with their excellent work.” 

Similar events are being held by BAPS Charities at several other centres around the country, bringing the national total to around 4,000 participants. 

To learn more about the work of Diabetes UK, please click here

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