Luke inspires with swim feat

Pilbara News
Kevin Michel, Luke Whatley and Stephanie Soter
Camera IconKevin Michel, Luke Whatley and Stephanie Soter Credit: Picture: Alexander Scott

“Luke is a local legend up in Karratha.”

That was the message from Premier Mark McGowan after Karratha resident and quadriplegic Luke Whatley completed a gruelling 7.5km swim to smash the record he set last year by 50 laps.

Mr Whatley, who has been a quadriplegic since birth, swam 150 laps of the 50m pool at Karratha Leisureplex last Wednesday in celebration of International Day of People with Disability.

His swim, which took about 10 hours, was supported by local not-for-profit group Empowering People in Communities and community spectators, who cheered him on during the impressive feat.

In a Facebook post, Mr McGowan said Mr Whatley was an amazing young man.

“When I had the pleasure to meet Luke, it was clear he is a much-loved member of the local community,” he said. “It’s a huge personal achievement — and what a way to celebrate International Day of People with Disability. Luke has shown tremendous personal determination to achieve his goals.”

Mr Whatley said the swim was just another day “at the office” and he was thankful for all the support he had received from the KLP staff.

“I think of the Lesuireplex staff as my second family; in the future, I hope to grow my kids up around the Lesuireplex and become champions as I have,” he said.

Mr Whatley said he was hoping to meet Mr McGowan a second time.

EPIC chief executive Stephanie Soter said Mr Whatley was an inspiration to the local community.

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