93-Year-Old Sikh Runner Gets Endorsement Deal With Adidas Sportswear

April 6, 2004

Source: The Guardian


On April 6, 2004 The Guardian ran a feature article on Fauja Singh, the 93-year-old Sikh marathon runner who recently signed an endorsement deal with adidas sportswear. The reporter set out to discover "what drives him" in his running. The article reported, "Fauja Singh hasn't been running for very long. He took it up when his wife died 11 years ago and, since then, it has been the main focus in his life. After living most of his life in Punjab in India, where he was a farmer, he came to Redbridge in Essex in the wake of his wife's death, to join his youngest son and his family. It wasn't long before he was introduced locally to Harmander Singh (no relation), who took on the role of trainer, mentor, adviser and interpreter. And, judging by what I saw when I visited them during a training session, his friend...He needs an interpreter because he speaks no English, though his bright eyes speak volumes. As a young man in India, Fauja was a competitive runner. When he decided to take it up again after his bereavement, he initially thought of running as therapy. Then it became his passion...Fauja's other passion, alongside running and the desire to compete, is his Sikh belief that a person has to work and share the fruits of his labours with others. Currently, he runs for Bliss, a charity that helps premature babies; he sometimes also runs under the banner of the British Heart Foundation in honour of some of his jogging friends who have taken up running, several in marathons, since heart attacks."