Sikh youths ex­cited about run

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - PROVINCIAL - BYEVERTONMCLEAN em­clean@thetele­gram.com

Still

gush­ing about the new scenery while imag­in­ing all the sights left to see, 20 young peo­ple from Toronto came to the cap­i­tal city this week, ready for the run of a life­time — a cross-coun­try trek from St. John’s har­bour to Van­cou­ver.

They have 8,000 kilo­me­tres to go, and took their first steps down­town Wed­nes­day, a jour­ney that will mean each of them will run seven kilo­me­tres ev­ery day along Cana­dian road­ways un­til the end of Au­gust.

The group of 20 young Toronto Sikhs are part of the Guru Gobind Singh Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion (GGSCF), a youth group de­voted to help­ing other young peo­ple.

The group has raised $110,000 for the run, and $10,000 will go to chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals in each prov­ince, while the re­main­ing $10,000 will go to a clinic in an African vil­lage.

“We are all mo­ti­vated, we are all ex­cited,” said Sophia Rand­hawa, 20.

“We’re go­ing to be run­ning from the (St. John’s) har­bour and then catch­ing a ferry back to Nova Sco­tia.”

For Rand­hawa, giv­ing up her sum­mer to raise money for hos­pi­tals isn’t that much of a sac­ri­fice — she said she’s looking for­ward to see­ing miles of Canada she oth­er­wise wouldn’t get to.

Start­ing the run in New­found­land was a treat for her, she said. “We love the scenery. You don’t re­ally see this in Toronto.”

The GGSCF, which was founded 10 years ago, has a his­tory of do­ing longdis­tance runs for char­ity. The money helps the or­ga­ni­za­tion spon­sor chil­dren around the world, Rand­hawa ex­plained.

“Cur­rently, we spon­sor 200 chil­dren. We started off spon­sor­ing five chil­dren,” she said, adding the de­ci­sion to fund chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals in Canada this time was part of re­pay­ing peo­ple in this coun­try for sup­port­ing the dis­ad­van­taged.

“What we’re do­ing now is help­ing Canada out and chil­dren in Canada,” she said, adding the run has been in the works for two years.

“We’ve been train­ing for this for a re­ally long time,” she said.

Pa­van Ubbi, 18, is also run­ning, just days af­ter fin­ish­ing high school. She said her class­mates and friends were sur­prised to hear she was de­vot­ing her sum­mer to the fundraiser.

“I’ve been telling every­one,” she said. Ubhi said she’s looking for­ward to meet­ing mem­bers of the Sikh com­mu­nity from across Canada and be­ing part of some­thing pos­i­tive.

“Ev­ery­body is putting so much ef­fort into it, there’s so much vol­un­teer work that it’s a proud mo­ment,” she said.

More in­for­ma­tion on the run, in­clud­ing the route and do­na­tion in­for­ma­tion, can be found at www.ggscf.com.

— Photo by Keith Gosse/The Tele­gram

Pa­van Ubbi (left), 18, and Sophia Rand­hawa, 20, are mem­bers of the Guru Gobind Singh Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion run­ning cross Canada to raise funds for chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals.

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