US-BASED Guyanese and swimming enthusiast, 71-old Ashraf ‘River Conqueror’ Ali, who has swum across the Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo rivers, among several other rivers and lakes, yesterday paid a courtesy call to President David Granger at State House.Ali’s greatest exploit, thus far, was swimming seven miles from Guyana to Suriname, using the route traversed by the ferry, which operates between the two countries.President Granger told Mr Ali that after hearing about his accomplishments at such an age, he knew he had to meet him.Ali, who hails from East Berbice/Corentyne, is a self-taught swimmer. He said that swimming has been his hobby since childhood.Even at 71, he said he has no plans to slow down and is currently gearing for yet another swim out into the Atlantic from the Berbice River mouth by the end of the month. His aim, he said, is to inspire the older generation to get involved in physical activities, which can add to their years.“I am appealing to the elders to do a minimum of half-an-hour of exercise, three times per week. Swimming is the best exercise, but you can do anything. I also want to motivate the younger generation to dream and know that whatever they dream, they can achieve,” he said.Mr Ali swam across the Berbice River in 1979, the Corentyne River which leads from Skeldon to Nickerie, Suriname in 1998 and the Demerara River in 1999. Additionally, he swam across Lake Mainstay twice.