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  • Writer's pictureHarjot Sidhu

A CONVERSATION ON WHY WE NEED THE SIKH GAMES, WITH MANDY KAUR MOORE

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

The below is a short piece intended to accompany a longer audio conversation with Mandy Kaur Moore.


LISTEN TO THE FULL CONVERSATION VIA LINKS BELOW (SUBSCRIBE OR FOLLOW THE PODCAST FOR EASE AND FOR FUTURE EPISODES)





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Did you know The Maccabiah Games, referred to as the "Jewish Olympics," was first held in 1932? It is the 3rd largest sporting event in the world[i] with over 10,000 athletes competing. So, when Mandeep had the idea for a UK Sikh “Olympics,” her compatriot Nav, the now Vice-President of the Sikh Games, suggested something a little bigger.


Mandeep Kaur Moore is full time commercial lawyer, an entrepreneur with an events company, the chair of the Professional Women of Faith network, the co-founder of Khalsa Fostering, the cultural advisor to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (whilst also co-chairing the Vaisakhi London) and the President of the Sikh Games…and she does it all without any caffeine! But for Mandeep, it’s not about the titles. It’s about problem solving. Mandy has a knack for identifying gaps and looking to fill them. “You can either choose to ignore it. Or…It’s been brought to you, so where are you going to take it?”


One of those problems that we talked about in depth was the idea of changing mindsets when it comes to being a foster carer, within the South Asian community. “It’s trying to make people understand that being a carer is not a derogatory career. What we really need to do as a community is step up and support the children that go into care.” The problem doesn’t just sit with the community. Local authorities also need a helping hand. “Just because somebody is brown, it doesn’t mean that if you place them in a household that is brown you’ve made a good match.” Mandy set up Khalsa Fostering to help all parties rethink their approaches and provide all young people with the opportunities and possibilities they need to be happy, safe and healthy. The service also helps those carers, not from a Sikh background, understand what a Sikh child needs in terms of support. “It’s instilling carers with the information to be able to support these children.”


In amongst the seemingly never-ending list of tasks (It’s a long list!), all highlighted in their own specific colour, resembling something similar to a fruit salad, brewing away is the newest, and perhaps biggest, venture. The Sikh Games. “I’ve always wanted the Sikh Games,” she says. With Australia’s Sikh Games now in its 36th year, and the aforementioned Maccabiah Games, Mandy wanted her own version for the UK Sikh Community. A community with a history persecution in their homeland. migration can bring about stories of struggle, but it can also bring about stories of togetherness. “The first sentiment was let’s bring everyone together. Let’s showcase our Sikhs that are doing well in sport.” The games were due to take place this August just gone, but the unforeseen popularity has meant there’s a need to plan for something bigger. “In the first year alone, we’ve already signed up over 2,200 [athletes]. We would have had to hire an additional 3 venues.”

In our conversation we talk about all of the above in a lot more details, as well as Mandy’s childhood, growing up in Southall and around the businesses her parents owned. Mandy is a testament to the fact that you can live a busy lifestyle but still retain balance. All you need is a highlighter.






FOLLOW THE SIKH GAMES ON INSTAGRAM - https://www.instagram.com/thesikhgames/

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