The Mother’s Day Classic Walk is an annual Australia-wide event aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer. Following a successful introduction to the Walk last year, the SSIO again promoted this as a truly worthwhile community activity for members of its Ladies Program. This year a team of 250 including children, young adults and men around Australia and joined the various local Mother’s Day Classic Walks on Sunday, 12 May.
The various regional Ladies Coordinators initiated this service activity last year with the intention of supporting breast cancer research and to unite the community in an enjoyable activity with a positive message. This year the enthusiastic promotion of the event resulted in increased participation with representatives from most of the different SSIO regions throughout Australia attending various capital city and regional events.
The ladies’ participation in this activity supported the Walk’s objectives of increased community awareness and support for breast cancer research and detection. It also without doubt raised the awareness of the need for breast screening and early cancer detection within the members of the Sai Community. Our youngest participant was a 4 months old baby in NSW while the oldest was 89 year old in Canberra, who herself was a breast cancer sufferer and completed the 4km walk with great enthusiasm.
It was good to see the windy, cold morning in some areas did not stop the enthusiasm of participants! The smiles on the many faces reflected the unity and cheerfulness of those who made this a memorable occasion and one filled with camaraderie!
Last year some state teams were presented with awards for being the largest teams in their particular categories. This year again, our teams from NSW and Victoria were recognised as the largest community and sporting teams in their states by the organisers.
Giving an idea of the participants’ experience, below is the report from the Ladies Program Coordinator from Victoria:
It was a rewarding and fulfilling experience to be a part of this great community event. It was inspiring to know that we were among the 25,000 people who participated in the walk in Melbourne this year.
Despite the notorious ‘4 seasons in a day’ Melbourne weather, Sai Baba gave us a perfect day for the walk. This year we had more participants than last year, with more young adults and a couple of men joining the ladies, all dressed in pink. We also had non-Sai devotees joining our group to support the worthy cause this year. Most of the group did the 4km walk, while a few did the 8km walk. We chanted the Gayatri Mantra silently as we walked on this beautiful day, dedicating the walk to all those family members, friends and colleagues affected by cancer.
It was a pleasant surprise when the SSIO Victoria team was announced as the winner of the Largest Community & Sporting Group at the end of the walk for the second consecutive year.
It is pleasing to note that there is growing awareness of this community service activity within our organisation now. Even devotees who were not able to participate in the walk due to health reasons, registered for the event this year to support the cause and be a part of this community engagement activity. It is hoped that we will have more people, especially young adults and men, joining us in future events.
We had an enjoyable day and were very happy to be a part of a great national community event that raises awareness of breast cancer, supports women affected by it and funds research.
Jai Sai Ram.
Suruj Nair & Rohana Yoganathan
Regional Ladies Coordinators, Victoria
National Ladies Program Coordinator.