Man learns to swim in 30 days for charity

It's something Manan Patel never learned to do as a child, learning how to swim.

Mr Patel works as a real estate agent for Barfoot and Thompson, and during the Christmas party last year his manager, Henry Barfoot saw he couldn't actually swim while snorkelling at the function.

Mr Barfoot came up with the idea for him to learn to swim 100 metres for the Starship Swimathon on June 23.

He started learning how to swim in May 2018, giving himself one month to learn, training 3-4 days a week at Stanmore Bay Leisure centre, with his manager even getting in the pool with him when he first started learning.

The centre has been giving Mr Patel free lessons when they found out why he was learning.

Mr Patel says it's something he's needed to do for a long time.

"Just being in New Zealand and being so close to the water, you need to learn to swim as anything can happen at any time,"

He says up until the age of 24 he'd never been to a swimming pool.

"I started going into the water and into the sea, but just in the shallow waters, not too deep, just be be on the safe side,"

Mr Patel can currently now swim 20 to 25 metres.

"It's going to be a big challenge for me, but at the end of the day it isn't a race,"

Mr Patel has raised over 1 thousand dollars for the charity.

Mr Patel isn't the only one who can't swim in New Zealand, with two thirds of Kiwi kids not being able to swim 100 metres, and Water Safety New Zealand says that 7 out of 10 kids can't swim to save themselves.

Of the 104 drowning's in New Zealand last year, 88 were preventable, and drowning is the fourth highest cause of accidental deaths in New Zealand ahead of motor vehicle accidents, falls and poisoning.

If you would like to donate to Mr Patel's cause, click here.


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