A CANOE accident 16 years ago left architect Abbas Shah petrified of water.
But after seeing the plight of children in some of Pakistan's most neglected regions he is jumping in at the deep end.
Abbas, 34, who studied in Huddersfield and works with children's projects in Kirklees, is taking part in the London Triathlon tomorrow, to raise cash for Friends of the Citizen Foundation - Educating Pakistan.
The charity is raising money to build and run schools in Pakistan's slum areas, to give youngsters a chance.
Abbas said: "I am an architect by trade but I have always enjoyed working with children and people.
"I heard about what was happening in Pakistan with this charity and wanted to raise some money and help out - so I got back in the pool.
"I was training for the Devizes to Westminster 125-mile canoe marathon in 1988 when I capsized and banged my head on a rock - and I have stayed out of the water ever since.
"But the triathlon means I will have to swim a mile, so I had to conquer my fears and get back in the water."
The gruelling event includes the mile swim, a 25-mile bike ride and a six-mile run.
The Friends of the Citizen have already built 180 schools across Pakistan and they have 21,000 students.
To find out more about the charity, or make a donation, visit www.ftcf.org.uk
In the past two weeks, Abbas has been helping the University of the First Age hold a summer school at the university.