Chennai based paraplegic swimmer Mohommad Shams Aalam Shaikh will be attempting to create history in Goa this week. The 30-year-old will attempt to create a new world record in swimming in the open sea while covering a distance of 8km within a span of 2.5 to 3 hours. Shaikh’s feat is part of the #BeachFest2017 presently underway at Candolim beach Goa where hundreds of wheelchair users have come together to enjoy a completely accessible experience.
Shaikh aims to better his previous record measuring 1 hour, 40 minutes and 28 seconds in open sea swimming across a distance of 6kms which he accomplished in 2014 at the Navy Day Open Sea Swimming Competition under the differently-abled category.“The reason I am attempting this record is to encourage and promote the fact that people with disability can accomplish their dreams despite their shortcomings” said paraplegic swimmer Mohommad Shams Aalam Shaikh. He added “I also wanted to raise awareness about events such as #BeachFest2017 conceptualised by UMOJA as they have the ability to create a significant impact on society and give confidence to individuals with special needs and with spinal injuries, to do extraordinary things and even indulge in simple joys such as enjoying a day at the beach.”
Drishti, who are part of the core team supporting the swimmer has been gearing up for the event over the last few weeks and are have been working along with Shaikh as he attempts a new world record. The 8 km long course is specifically designed so as the swimmer gets maximum benefit of the tide. The course has been designed by Lalit Negi, General Manager, Operations, Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd and will be laid out by the operations team. Markers will be laid across the track to guide the swimmer.
In order to beat his previous record, Shaikh has increased his practice sessions to 2.5 hours a day from an average of 1 hour a day. He will be diving into the sea, 1 km off the shore, then swim parallel for the next 5 km and swim back diagonally for 3 km. The race will start at 6:30 am on the 8th of April 2017 and is expected to finish within three hours.
Explained the team at Drishti, “We will be providing two jet skis and a speed boat which will have an oxygen aid kit and other hydrating solutions on the speed boat. The speed boat and the jet skies with trained lifeguards aboard will travel along with the swimmer for the entire length. We will also have medical assistance that will be provided from Manipal Hospitals under the supervision of Dr. Mihir Choudhary, M
edical Head, Drishti Lifesaving.”
Organiser of #BeachFest2017 Yeshwant Holkar, CEO, UMOJA said, “It is essential that every person must be able to enjoy and feel safe and secure while they embark on a delightful experience in the sea. Without the help of Drishti and our other partners it would not have been possible to have turned this event into a reality. We are glad and feel very comforted that Drishti’s lifeguards, heros of Goa will be offering us their tremendous support by providing lifeguarding amenities during Sham Aalam Shaikh’s world record attempt. The whole team at UMOJA wishes Shaikh all the very best for his record breaking feat this weekend.”
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