Paraplegic Pilbara man Luke Whatley clocked up more than 10 hours in the swimming pool yesterday, to show that anyone can achieve their dreams if they put their mind to it.
- To celebrate International Day of People with Disability the Pilbara's Luke Whatley swims 150 laps of his local pool
- Mr Whatley says he wants to prove you can do anything if you work hard
- Premier Mark McGowan has congratulated Mr Whatley on his achievement
Yesterday Mr Whatley, who is incapacitated from the waist down, swam 150 laps at his local swimming pool, Karratha Leisureplex, in celebration of International Day of People with Disability.
"It'll go down in the Leisureplex history," he said.
In 2019, the Karratha local set a personal record of swimming 100 laps in one day, but this year he wanted to raise the bar even higher.
"All kinds of people, all people can achieve their dreams no matter how small they are or how big they are," he said.
Most days, Mr Whatley can be found at the pool in Karratha or at the local gym as he works towards his fitness goals.
Community celebrates success
Mr Whatley started his marathon swim at 6am yesterday morning and completed his final lap at 4.30pm.
His friends, family, support staff and community members were poolside as Mr Whatley swam lap after lap.
Local schoolchildren also cheered him on. He said hearing the crowd helped him to keep going.
At the end of his massive feat, everyone gathered around Mr Whatley to celebrate his achievement.
"I could go back and do more," he said. "But 150 is good for today.
'An amazing man,' says Premier
But there was one person who Mr Whatley was really excited to share his news with. His hero — Premier Mark McGowan.
Earlier this year, Mr McGowan visited Mr Whatley's workplace at a local shopping centre.
"I'd like to say Mark McGowan is an absolute legend," Mr Whatley said.
"I just can't wait to see him again."
The Premier sent Luke a message following his epic efforts in the pool.
"Congratulations to Luke, what an amazing young man he is," Mr McGowan said.
"I look forward to hearing about his next achievements."