By Tiana Cole
America-based Guyanese Deryck Rugbeer returned to his homeland recently with one main goal: To swim across the Demerara River.
He did just that yesterday, clocking a time of 24 minutes and adding the feat to his ‘bucket list.’
Family members and onlookers who were in a boat encouraged him along the way, and congratulated him afterwards.
He said that he would have completed it in a faster time if he hadn’t to swim against the tide. Despite the time set back he claimed that “I feel good after my swim despite a bit being nervous.”
Deryck’s mom Lucille Baldeo Rugbeer told Kaieteur News that when her son informed her he was coming home to swim across the Demerara River, she decided that she wanted to be with him when he accomplished one of his dreams
The 52 year old grew up in the vicinity of the Stabroek Market, and as a child, he would often venture to the back of the market and look across the Demerara River and ask himself: Can I swim over that?
He attended the Mon Repos Primary, where he wrote the National Grade Six Assessment and was awarded a place at the St. Stanislaus College.
While attending that institution, he was involved in track and athletics activities.
In 1984, Rugbeer and his family migrated to the United States of America, where he continued to pursue his athletics career. Apart from that, he was involved in swimming, skiing down hill, riding, ice skating and tennis.
While at home in the USA he would always do laps in the pool, to complete a mile. All this prepared him for yesterday’s swim.
The father of one is a certified Software engineer and happily married to his wife, Lesly Rugbeer, who teaches special needs children.
In addition to achieving his childhood goal, last Saturday, he rode his bicycle from Charlotte Street to Parika in approximately four hours.
Also on Saturday, he rode from the Stabroek Market to the Splashmins Resort where he also took a practice swim to ensure that he could complete a mile.
He plants fruits and vegetables and also enjoys cooking his family healthy foods. He stays away from oil and fatty foods.
Deryck wants to live a long and healthy life after losing all three of his brothers at a young age.
His advice to Guyanese is to eat healthy, stay fit and don’t give up easily.
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