Rajinder Singh, aged 73, from Slough, is known as the ‘Skipping Sikh’ for his exercise videos, filmed in his allotment, which are helping the Sikh community remain active and fundraising over £12,000 for NHS charities. Missing taking his daily exercise, food and prayer with others from the Sikh community during the lockdown, Rajinder decided to share videos online of his skipping fitness routines and inspire others to keep active with him, particularly those isolating at home. His tutorials have since become a worldwide phenomenon, and he is encouraging people across the globe to join in his lockdown skip the challenge and donate to NHS charities.
In a personal letter to Rajinder, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I wanted to write personally to thank you for all that you are doing to support our extraordinary NHS, and encouraging the nation to pick up their skipping ropes and keep their spirits high by taking on your lockdown skip challenge!
“Your ‘Skipping Sikh’ fitness videos have given a lift to the thousands of people worldwide who have watched online and taken part with you in your daily exercise and provided an ingenious way of bringing together and energising the Sikh community at a time when temples have been closed.
“So allow me to join in sharing your message that health is wealth, and congratulate you on becoming the UK’s 1410th Point of Light!”
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Rajinder said:
“Waheguru ji ka khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh. I am truly humbled for being awarded the Points of Light award. I love to serve others – it’s part of who I am as a Sikh and I love to do sewa (give back). I never thought something like skipping would inspire the world and spread smiles. I’m really grateful for the support and being given this recognition. Thank you to our PM Boris Johnson, God bless you and everyone, I thank everyone for the support and love, and I encourage all to join in the skipping challenge and tag me in @SikhSkipping.
“Health is wealth so to everyone my message is to stay active and stay happy.”
The Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Rajinder is the 1410th person to be recognised. As Britain unites to fight the spread of coronavirus, the award is focusing exclusively on people serving their community through the pandemic.