Sikhs of Los Angeles volunteers at the event
LA Sikhs, participated in the 34th annual LA Marathon Race, on March 8,2020. The LA Sikhs have been participating as volunteers in the LA Marathon since 2002 and manage ten water stations out of the twenty-five water stations on the race track.
More than 27,000 runners were registered to run as this race has been organized since 1986 but because of the Corona Virus outbreak, the turnout of runners as well as the volunteers was a bit lower.
Sikhs of Los Angeles (SOLA) are comprised of Sikh Americans from several areas and connected to various Gurdwaras of greater Los Angeles.
Initiated by S. Hardeep Singh and S.Resham Singh who started the sewa at the Los Angeles Annual Marathon (LAM) back in 2002; the current sewadars are S. Prem Singh, S. Sarbjit Singh S. Amarjit Singh, S. Surinderjit Singh, S. Jaspreet Singh, S. Harinder Singh, S. Kaviraj Singh, S. Jasneet Kaur and S. Iqbal Singh. There are so many other un-named sewadars who have done an incredible amount of sewa.
S Prem Singh and their many colleagues have been regularly doing sewa at several of the water stations on the route of the marathon for the last 18 years.
Volunteers serve water and other replenishing liquids to the thousands of runners including petroleum jelly and the some commonly used first aid items.
Sewadars of the SOLA team at the LAM
Due to the wonderful effort by all the Sikh American volunteers in the last 18 years, today runners are very familiar with Sikhs and openly acknowledge them by thanking them by saying, “Shukria”! Some even say “Wahe Guruji Ka Khalsa! Wahe Guruji Ki Fateh” as they go by!
SOLA tries to get 20 or more Sikhs on every one of their Water Stations, with well over 100 volunteers helping and many of whom come from different faiths and backgrounds.
In addition to the water, SOLA on their own serve hard candy, pretzels, donuts, oranges, etc., to refresh the runners in addition to the water/liquids.
Young volunteers serving donuts to the runners
Not only are there runners from across the nation but also international runners participate with over 20,000 runners who are appreciative of the volunteer service provided by the Sikh Americans of the greater Los Angeles area through SOLA.
Sikh American sewadars serving water at their station
This annual sewa has not only garnered the attention but also the goodwill of the general public over the years. The American Sikh Council congratulates all these sewadars who continue to put in their sincere effort to highlight the Sikh Faith and identity through the message of sewa in action to the general public.
The LA marathon race went smoothly without any major health incidents. The SOLA volunteers are eagerly looking forward to take part in the next major event in 2021.
A runner in full Native Indian regalia