Western Balkans

Environment impact on Olympic swimmer Lum Zhaveli's successes

24/10/2018 - 10:26
Voices and views

Lum Zhaveli is all but a random guy. When he was just 26 years old he represented Kosovo at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in the Men’s 50 meter freestyle swimming

These months, Zhaveli is one of the four Champions of the Environment Campaign in Kosovo, organized by the European Union Office in Kosovo and implemented by the European Union Information and Culture Centre in Kosovo. Together with Rita Saraçi – a fashion blogger, Arineta Mula – alpinist and actor Vedat Bajrami, Zhaveli will be an integral part of the Campaign on Environment, aiming to raise awareness towards environment protection in Kosovo.  Zhaveli is devoting his energy towards the Campaign by sharing his experience and the importance a good environment has on his life and his professional achievements.

“I took part on actions to clean the environment in different parts of Kosovo. I also took part in action to clean Batllava Lake. When I go out in nature, I feel obliged to make sure I always take all my trash with me and throw it in a proper place. I remember as a kid going outdoors in nature with my parents and seeing my father and mother cleaning the trash we found around us so we can enjoy the sight. I guess that it has stuck with me now. Everywhere I go I clean that spot before I sit and enjoy it and also before I leave” says Zhaveli.

Zhaveli was always passionate about technology, especially computers. He studied computer science in Thessaloniki, Greece at City College, University of Sheffield, where he also swam.

Zhaveli has been awarded as the best swimmer in Kosovo eight times in a row and holds most of the fastest swimming records in a lot of styles for Kosovo. Zhaveli is advocating for Water, one of the four pillars of our Campaign, which started on the 24th of September and will continue till mid-December 2018 throughout Kosovo.

Kosovo Olympic Swimmer Lum Zhaveli

“In Kosovo we lack infrastructure for sports, especially for swimming, but that has never stopped me. I live in the centre of the Pristina and I am surrounded unfortunately with a lot of air pollution and trash around me. In the summer I used to swim and still go to Kosovo lakes especially in Batllava Lake. It’s always frustrating to see people who visit the lake, leaving the trash behind by the shore or throwing it in the water while I am swimming” says Zhaveli.

Currently, he is concentrated on his professional career but still exercising and engaging in swimming. The new LEN program "LSP - Learn-to-Swim, Prevent Drowning" was launched in December 2017, with Zhaveli becoming a member of the steering committee of LSP. Together with Kosovo Swimming Federation, he is trying to launch this program in Kosovo.

Zhaveli is constantly joining the activities of the Environment Campaign of the EU Office.

“I see this campaign more as an environmental education and awareness campaign. Thus being part of it, makes me very happy, mostly because I can raise my voice towards protecting and cleaning the environment more compared to previous times. I believe the Environment campaign of EU Office will help individuals to develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues. Our lives depend on natural resources such as air, water, and land” Lum Zhaveli concludes.  

Arber SELMANI

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