NEWTON — Surrey residents are invited to meet three-time Olympian Milkha Singh and participate in a walk to help fundraise for the Rotary Club of Surrey Newton on Sunday at Bear Creek Park from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Singh, aka The Flying Sikh, is one of India’s greatest athletes, competing in Track and Field in the 200-metre and 400-metre between 1955 and 1964. He is a three-time Olympian and a gold medalist in the Commonwealth and Asian games.
While Singh achieved international sporting success, he came from humble beginnings in a small village in British India. He overcame adversity and has inspired generations.
At the age of 12 Singh witnessed his parents, brother and two sisters being murdered during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. As an orphan he travelled alone and with no money from Pakistan to Delhi to live with his older sister. Years later he would join the Indian army and discover his athletic talents.
His story was the subject of a 2013 Bollywood film titled Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (watch trailer below).
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Singh also gives to charity. He sold the rights to his story for one Indian Rupee (two cents Canadian) as long as a share of the film’s profits went to his Milkha Singh Charitable Fund, helping aspiring athletes who live in poverty.
And his charitable spirit is what brings him to Metro Vancouver this week. Singh is helping Rotary Club of Surrey-Newton raise funds.
First, he is the keynote speaker at a fundraising dinner, Ordinary People with Extraordinary Stories, on Saturday (April 9) at 6 p.m. at Grand Taj Banquet Hall (8388 128th St.)
Then on Sunday (April 10) he is taking part in a fundraising walk to benefit the Rotary Club of Surrey-Newton at Bear Creek Park from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The public will have an opportunity to meet Singh.
“Hard work, will power and determination. For a person with these qualities, the sky is the limit,” said Singh. “If I can inspire even one youngster to be the best in the world in whatever she or he does, I would consider my trip to Canada at this age, successful. The respect of your country, and in this case Canada, is most important. Do your best to make your country proud.”
– The Now