STA is thrilled to confirm that the keynote speaker for this year’s annual STA conference is award-winning TV broadcaster Ayo (Andy) Akinwolere.
During his time as a Blue Peter presenter (200–2011), Ayo took on many major challenges, including setting a new world record for the deepest location for an open water swim by swimming more than five miles across the Palau Trench in the Pacific Ocean.
Then after appearing on several shows including Celebrity MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief, Ayo created The Swim Challenge in 2015 to prove that people of colour can swim.
Ayo is one of four people of colour with a swimming world record, and through The Swim Challenge project he took 15 non-swimming adults of various ethnic backgrounds from across London and redesigned a swimming programme to teach them how to swim.
In 10 weeks the participants went through a gruelling swimming programme helped by the Swim Dem Crew, to try and challenge their fears of the water and furthermore learn to swim. All the participants learned to swim, and even more remarkably, eight participants from the group went on to swim in open water with Ayo in the Great Manchester Swim and Great London Swim.
Ayo’s current broadcasting credits include BBC One’s Inside Out, Big Tackle on Channel 4, The Premier League Show on BBC Two and also the Premier League for IMG.
To hear first-hand about Ayo’s amazing swimming stories and ambitions, reserve your place at this year’s conference which is being held in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday 12th October.