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WATCH: From St Paul’s Bay To Sicily, Four Athletes Are Ready To Kayak For 18 Hours To Help Combat Obesity

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In a matter of days, four daring athletes will set off on an 18-hour non-stop kayak journey from Malta to Sicily with the aim of raising awareness on child and youth obesity.

Karen Amato, Ruben Vassalo, Daniel Seguna and David Abela have taken up the challenge to paddle an estimated 100km from St Paul’s Bay to Marina di Ragusa in Sicily at a strategic pace of 6.5km/hr.

The challenge is a test of the human body and spirit, pushing the athletes to brave open waters, the scorching sun and dehydration in the name of health and fitness.

And it’s a message they wish to pass on to a younger generation grappling with an obesity crisis.

“Obesity has become an issue especially after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Amato said in an interview with Lovin Malta. “Most kids have been sitting down throughout the pandemic and I think it’s time they start moving much more”.

The journey is expected to take a total of 16 to 18 hours depending on a number of external factors including the current and weather conditions. In preparation for the challenge, the team of athletes has done a number of short and long kayaks with the latest being an all-around Malta kayak for a total of nine hours and 10 minutes.

Inspired by Neil Agius’ recent record-breaking swim, the four athletes are hoping that their challenge inspires others to get up and move.

“A small change can go a long way,” Amato continued. “No matter how small or big it is, just as long as you get off your sofa that’s enough”.

Others who are taking inspiration from Agius’ herculean feat are young athletes Zac Bugeja and Jake Vella, who have embarked on their own swimming challenges, as well as ultra-runner Steve Sammut Nurminen, who will be running a total of 105km across Malta.

For the kayakers, it is only a matter of time until the weather provides a window of opportunity for them to head off on their challenge and once they do, you can track them live via their social media channels.

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