Shafi, Ahmed

Ahmed Shafi of Hyderabad was an Indian endurance swimmer, initially sponsored by the Mohammedan Sporting Club in 1929 to make an attempt on the Channel in 1930. Whilst on a 6 months training regime, the Club set up the Shafi Endurance Swimming Committee, with Khan Sahib Syed Ahmed Rashid the Honorary Secretary, to raise the funds for his training, travel and expenses but eventually he was financed by H.E.H the Nizam of Hyderabad

He arrived in England in early 1930, based at Deal under Billy Kellingley. Both he and another Kellingley client, Janet English, were unable to make attempts in 1930 but they did race each other from Dover to Ramsgate at the end of August, which English won. Shafi stayed in London through the winter and spring hoping to make a swim in the 1931 season but once again was unable to make any attempt. He returned to India in summer 1932

On Wednesday morning an Indian, Ahmed Shafi, sent to Dover by the Nizam of Hyderabad, began a swim to Ramsgate, starting from the Eastern Entrance of the harbour soon after midday. He was accompanied by one of Mr. Brockman’s motor boats and a rowing boat, in whch there were Mr. W. Kellingley, the well known trainer, now living at Brighton, Capt. Harry Pearson, the pilot of Deal, and Mr. C. W. Carter, timekeeper. Miss Janet English, of the Beverley Swimming Club, also made the swim, starting soon after Shafi, accompanied by a boat from Deal.
29 August 1930 – Dover Express – Dover, Kent, England

WOMAN SWIMMER BEATS MAN… Woman’s challenge to men in the world of sport had an important success recently when Miss Janet English, captain of the women’s swimming clubs ot Beverley and Overton, Yorkshire, beat Shafi, the young Indian student of Hyderabad, In a swim from Dover to Ramsgate, a distance of 20 miles, by 47 minutes. Both swimmers were unable to finish Inside Ramsgate Harbour, a sudden attack of sea-sickness compelling Miss English to land on the rocks to the south of the breakwater (says the London “News-Chronicle). She was only a few yards from her objective when she collapsed in the arms of her fiance, Mr. Fred Peck, who swam with her for the last two miles. Shafi landed at the same spot later, he too was glad of assistance in wading ashore. Shafi entered the water first at Dover at 12.03 and he reached Ramsgate at 6.44, his time being 6 hours 41 mins. Miss English started from the same place at 12.10, and she reached Ramsgate at 6.04, her time being 5 hours 54 mins, a record. Shafi got away with a spurt, and although Miss English followed seven minutes later, she quickly overhauled him. When she was off Deal pier she had adtually got a lead of about a mile and a half. Both are in training at Deal for an attempt to swim the Channel later in the year. Joan Brunton, of Dover, accomplished the swim last year (when she was only 11 years-old) in 6 hours 3 mins., beating the previous record by Frank Perks of 6 hours 4 mlns.
Brisbane Telegraph November 20, 1930

Shafi, the Indian student, is still waiting at Deal for favourable weather conditions, whilst Miss Janet English, who recently swam from Dover to Ramsgate, has left Deal for her Yorkshire home, convinced that long-distance swimming is finished for this season
19 September 1930 – Lancashire Evening Post – Preston, Lancashire, England

Repeated gales and a lowering of water temperature caused by abnormal rainfalls are holding up swimming attempts both from the English and the French side of the Channel. Shafi, the Indian student; Janet English, the Yorkshire swimmer, and others are waiting at Deal. On the French side are a number of Dutch and American aspirants
04 August 1931 – Lancashire Evening Post – Preston, Lancashire, England

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.