The Skipping Sikh

Rajinder Singh

The Skipping Sikh

What started as a way of preventing isolation for the Sikh community throughout lockdown has become a part of a number of primary school’s extra curriculum timetable– and gained our Parsley Box Personality -74 year old Rajinder Singh – a Queen’s Honour.

The Skipping Sikh

Dubbed ‘the Skipping Sikh’ for starring in exercise videos that inspired thousands of people during lockdown, Rajinder has been awarded an MBE  – and now has a stream of children learning this simple but very effective activity in primary schools.

He was concerned that the closure of Sikh temples, or Gurdwaras, would lead to his fellow worshippers in Slough, Berkshire, feeling isolated. So he set about putting videos on social media – initially aiming to raise £5000 for NHS charities.

However, skipping proved to be a real hit among young and old and he has now raised £15,000 – and his teaching is still going strong.  His wife, Pritpal Kaur, has also joined him in the mission to get people more active – teaching children how to hula hoop.

Teaching kids

Their daughter, Minreet, said her parents reached out to primary schools in West London near where they live after they realised that many didn’t know how to skip of hula hoop.

They are now the only people teaching these skills in schools and even have the support of Boris Johnson and the Department of Health who applaud their commitment to helping young people think about keeping fit.

‘They started off doing this in the lockdown and it has just grown with so much interest,’ she said.

Pritpal said that,  as a couple,  her and her husband incorporate exercise into their daily lives.

‘We decided a long time ago that we would keep fit, particularly now we are getting older. We walk, run and cycle most days – and teach at least a few times a week,’ she said.

Health is wealth

Rajinder’s running has led him to a place in this year’s London Marathon – he has completed marathon’s before – and he will be raising money for Mencap.

When asked what advice he would give older people he said the key is to never give up.

‘Just try, do whatever you can, even if it’s sitting own exercise,’ he said. ‘Health is wealth.’

Rajinder says that skipping makes him happy and healthy and Pritpal agrees. The couple, who are both vegetarian, want to pass this on to as many as possible. ‘We can see how much people love both the skipping and hula hooping as it is simple and a great way to get some exercise.

We are hoping to get many more people involved. We have started with primary schools but who knows where it will go next,’ she said.

Husband and wife team

Pritpal added she loves seeing the joy on people’s faces who have never hula hooped or skipped before.

‘They think they can’t do it then are so pleased when they get the hang of it. Both can be done anywhere at any time.

Not to be beaten by her husband 71-year-old Prital is now taking up swimming – including learning diving and tumble turns.

‘We are looking after ourselves as we want to live a long and happy, healthy, life. We don’t want to be unhealthy in our later years.  It is just a matter of getting up and being active every day. It’s not that difficult if you put your mind to it.’

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