With the Commonwealth making a massive mark this week, it has been a very hectic sports filled week for me. We always talk about ‘being healthy and keeping fit’. However, after meeting Apurvi Chandela, it made sense not to discriminate, sports is for everyone, regardless of your age, background or even ethnic origin. One person who is certainly an inspiration to all across the globe is Fauja Singh and I was honoured to have him on the show today.

 With his distinctive flowing grey beard and the traditional Sikh headgear that has earned him the nickname “the Turbaned Tornado,” Fauja Singh has been a star entrant at marathons all over the world.

 After his wife and son passed away Fauja Singh, was naturally devastated to have lost two very important people in his life. He then moved to the UK to live with his other son and decided to do something to keep himself busy. That was running. It was his wish to run the 42km marathon, once.

According to The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, “If you really want something to happen then the whole universe transpires to make it work for you. You just need to think, believe and you shall receive”.

Incidentally, Fauja Singh met an athlete Harmander Singh who had narrowly missed representing the UK for 10000m in 1980 Moscow Olympics and shortly afterwards he became his trainer. In 2000 at the age of 89, he ran his first marathon in 6 hours 54 minutes.

Since then, Fauja Singh has participated in innumerable competitions worldwide. He holds 12 Commonwealth, European and British records for his age group. He was chosen, in 2005, as the Official Starter of the second biggest marathon in UK in Edinburgh. He ran as one of the torch bearers in Athens Olympics and more recently for Queen’s Baton relay in London for Commonwealth Games 2010. His fame prompted former Pakistani president Parvez Musharraf to invite him for the Lahore Marathon in 2005. He has dined with the Queen in Buckingham Palace and also won runner-up award of Living Legend at Windsor Castle.

Impressed with his incredible spirit, Adidas chose him to feature alongside David Beckham on its “Impossible is nothing” campaign. His face was soon splashed all across the globe on huge billboards. Adidas released a shoe range in his honour, Fauja Singh Shoes. And it is worth mentioning that he gives every penny that he raised running, to charity.

It was a pleasure to have Fauja Singh on the show. Learning about his journey and talking about his experience was an exhilarating experience. I’ll admit my Punjabi is not as good as his, but he is truly an inspiration to the South Asian community all across the world.

 You can say he is a true Zee Companion.