The BAPS Charities Annual Challenge for 2015 was launched on the evening of Saturday 31 January at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London. The official partner for BAPS Charities this year is the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the “nation’s heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research that fights for every heartbeat.” The Challenge will also raise funds for Rosa, “a charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK.”
The Challenge will offer an opportunity for participants to run, jog or walk 10 kilometres, and will take place in London and cities across the UK in April. For the more adventurous, the Spartan Race – a series of obstacle races of varying distances and difficulty ranging from three miles to marathon distances – will provide a stiffer physical test. And, for thrill-seekers, there will be a special sponsored sky dive.
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.
Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Director at the British Heart Foundation, joined BAPS Charities at the Mandir in London for the official launch. After a short presentation to the assembly on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), he shared: “We at the British Heart Foundation are very proud to be partnering with BAPS Charities again. This time we are looking forward to providing 20 schools across the UK with CPR training kits. This will allow thousands of secondary schoolchildren to learn how to give CPR and in turn to save lives.”
As part of the launch, BAPS Charities participated in BHF’s ‘Wear it. Beat it.’ campaign, a nationwide initiative to show support by wearing red and hosting an event to fund their life-saving research. Devotees attending the evening assemblies at the Mandir on Saturday 7 February 2015 joined the event by wearing wear red clothing to raise awareness for and support the fight against heart disease. Hundreds of devotees visited the British Heart Foundation stand in the Haveli foyer to learn about heart and circulatory disease.