Georgetown, Guyana – (August 17, 2017) President David Granger, today, received a courtesy call at State House from Mr. Ashraf Ali, a US-based Guyanese, whose passion is swimming. This 71 year-old has swam across the Demerara, Berbice, Essequibo and several other rivers and lakes. His greatest feat thus far is swimming seven miles from Guyana to Suriname, using the route traversed by the Ferry, which operates between the two countries.
During the meeting, President Granger told Mr. Ali that after hearing about his accomplishments at such an age, he knew he had to meet him.
Mr. Ali, popularly referred to as ‘River Conqueror’, who hails from East-Berbice Corentyne said he is a self-taught swimmer; noting that swimming has been his hobby since childhood. Even at 71, he said he has no plans to slow down and is currently in the stages of planning another swim out into the Atlantic from the Berbice River mouth by the end of the month. His aim, he said, is to inspire the older generation to get involved in physical activities, which can add to their years.
“I am appealing to the elders to do a minimum of half an hour of exercise, three times per week. Swimming is the best exercise but you can do anything. I also want to motivate the younger generation to dream and know that whatever they dream, they can achieve,” he said.
Mr. Ali swam across the Berbice River in 1979, the Corentyne River, which leads from Skeldon to Nickerie, Suriname in 1998 and the Demerara River in 1999. Additionally, he swam across the Lake Mainstay twice.