Khalid Rushaka is a former Tanzanian Olympic swimmer and the co founder of the Sports Network in Tanzania who currently coaches swimming in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The remarkable story of how he learnt to swim and rose to fame is legendary.
His father, Yahya Rushaka, was one of the sole survivors of the Mv Bukoba ferry disaster on Lake Victoria in 1996 that claimed a thousand lives. It was his father who encouraged Khalid to learn to swim from the stories he used to tell of the brave men who saved many lives because they could swim.
In 2003, at the age of 21, Khalid joined the Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre in Dar es Salaam, to study Statistics. He taught himself to swim in the University of Dar es Salaam’s swimming pool by watching Youtube swimming tutorial videos, often playing the videos by side the pool as he swam. Just a year later, in 2004, Khalid joined the University swimming team at the East African University Games held in Nairobi, Kenya. He won three bronze medals in this, his first ever gala event. In 2006, at his second East African Games, he won 3 gold medals and one silver medal.
In 2008, he was selected to go and compete in the Beijing Olympic Games. This was the first time in Tanzanian history since independence that a Tanzanian had participated in the swimming discipline at the Olympic Games. At the Olympic Games is where Khalid met member of Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that works with children and youth, using the power of play to educate and empower them. He worked for them in Kampala, Uganda and at their fundraising office in New York City, USA year 2009. He also swam at the CANA Invitational Swimming Championship in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2009 and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India in 2010.
Khalid retired from swimming in 2012 and is now a certified FINA level 3 swimming coach as well as a certified FINA official.
As part of the Expeditionist team, Khalid is providing support to aspiring African athletes and is keen to become the first African of indigenous descent to swim across one of the Great Lakes in East Africa. He will be one of the swimmers that will participate in one of our expeditions, the Great Lakes Challenge: Africa.