Kerry-Lee & Paul Gockel proudly supporting Australia Paralympian Gerrard Gosens OAM in the 5th Annual Swim around Keppel

Kerry-Lee & Paul Gockel, will be proudly supporting Australia Paralympian Gerrard Gosens OAM as he aims to be the first totally blind swimmer to complete the 20km 5th Annual Swim Around Keppel. on Saturday, August 12, 2023 on Great Keppel Island – with both Kerry-Lee & Paul each swimming a 5km leg with Gerrard.

“When the opportunity came to join Gerrard in a team to swim around Great Keppel, we were really pleased that Gerrard thought of us,” says Kerry-Lee. “We are very excited about the swim and to be supporting Gerrard”, says Paul.

Kerry-Lee who is known as The Wingless Warrior was born with Congenital Amelia leaving her without arms since birth.

A regular marathon swimmer, she does a freestyle kick and uses a pair of fins to aid propulsion and rolls from side to side to breathe. “I enjoy the challenge of swimming those longer distances,” she says. “It’s never easy, but I love the open water.”

Paul, who only began swimming seriously in his twenties, won a silver medal at the Atlanta Paralympic Games for the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay. He has spina bifida with partial paralysis below the waist. “I don’t have a proper kick like an able-bodied swimmer,” he explains. “But in open-water swimming, I am more buoyant than in the pool and am able to get through the water more powerfully.”

Paul and Kerry-Lee, who met through swimming, train together during the week in the pool and in the open-water at the weekends over the winter. Kerry-Lee says: “My swimming doesn’t happen without the support of Paul. We always train together. He is always there with me, in the water or on pool deck.”

This will be the first time, a disabled team has attempted this 20km challenge and is part of a series of marathon swims that Gerrard and his team are undertaking in preparation for his greatest challenge – swimming 34km through the English Channel in 2024. Dubbed the Channelling Great Dreams project, Gerrard will aim to raise $340,000 for children’s charity – Great Dreams.

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