Rajinder Singh, aged 73, from Slough, known as the ‘Skipping Sikh’, has been recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the Points of Light award.
During the lockdown Rajinder has been filming exercise videos in his allotment, bringing together over 250,000 viewers on YouTube, helping the Sikh community remain active and fundraising over £13,000 for 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!”
The Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community. Every weekday the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Points of Light award.
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 challenge and donate to NHS charities.
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. Health is wealth so to everyone my message is to stay active and stay happy.”