SIT down with 12-year-old Leon Seaton, strike up a conversation about swimming, and you will learn that this is one young man who is very passionate, and very confident about being a swimmer.“I just love the competition,” said the North Georgetown Secondary School first form student, as he gazed attentively across the pool of the National Aquatic Centre.“I feel fit, and it helps me in my education in some ways, and it’s a good stress relieving outlet for me I would say.”Seaton’s love for the sport, backed by his hard work and capable skills, has now helped to craft him into one of Guyana’s current top junior swimmer.“It hasn’t been easy. Since primary school, I’ve been waking up in the morning, going to swim, then school, then coming back to swim, I would go home, do my homework, and then have to be in bed. Some mornings I don’t come to the pool because I didn’t finish my homework, so it’s been a bit of a rough path for me during my time as a swimmer,” Seaton revealed.But the hard work has not been without its fruits. With regard to the sport locally, Seaton has a notable track record for his age. In his seven years thus far as a competitive swimmer, Seaton is a Goodwill Swimming Championship multiple silver medallist and a National Schools Championship multiple gold medallist. He also secured medals at the invitational meets in Barbados, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.Although the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) has no up to date records, Seaton has held multiple national age group records for the Boys’ 11 to 12 category, while he had also set a few in the Under-8, and 9 to 10 age group categories.Seaton’s began swimmimg back in 2009, at age five, after his parents believed he needed some extra curricular activity to keep him busy.Seaton is very delighted with the accomplishments he has made in the pool, but he’s unabashed to recollect how hard it was for him when he first started out, he even laughs about it.“At first it was painful, well I was five. In my first competition I jumped overboard, and I started to cry, because I wasn’t that confident as yet. But as years went by, I’ve built that confidence, and here I am now today swimming for Guyana,” he said.Seaton is still brimming with pride for being the only Guyanese swimmer to date to qualify for this year’s CARIFTA Swimming Championships, set for the Bahamas in April.Seaton credits this accomplishment to all his coaches who have been a part of his development.This will be Seaton’s first year attending the regional age group meet, where hundreds of swimmers from 26 countries are set to participate.Seaton clocked a fated 27.97 seconds to make it in the Boys’ 11-12 50m freestyle, not far off the 26 seconds record for the event at CARIFTA.Last year this event was won at CARIFTA in a time of 27.07 seconds.
…complain of ill-treatment by school’s headSweeper/cleaners attached to the Zeeburg Secondary School are now lamenting the gross mistreatment being meted out to them at the hands of the head teacher of the said educational facility.It is being reported that they were forced to work throughout the Easter holiday season even as school was out and there was nothing to be done.During the said period, the cleaners were placed to clean the old, condemned building which previously housed the secondary school.According to a reliable source close to the school, cleaners have never worked on holidays at the establishment in the past.However, the head teacher of the school, who reportedly is in the habit of punishing those under her authority, demanded for the first time that the cleaners report for duties during the two-week holiday period.The source revealed to Guyana Times that after sitting for hours on a daily basis after cleaning on the old building was completed, the cleaners were then asked to carry out a general cleaning on the new school’s building even as “ they’re was nothing to do, the school was already cleaned”.Additionally, this newspaper was informed that the cleaners are given limited cleaning supplies, including mops, detergent, buckets etc.Requests made by them to the head teacher for the issue to be rectified on numerous occasions reportedly went unanswered.Several reports have been surrounding the Zeeburg Secondary School after the school received new management in 2017.Letters of complaint written by teachers attached to the school, parents and students have been published in a number of newspapers with one titled “Disgraceful leadership at Zeeburg Secondary School”.In those letters, it was pointed out that parents are constantly being asked for finances for various projects which have not materialised.It was also reported that the school is taking hard-earned money to put up cameras which it is said cost over $900,000.Reports are that the head teacher uses her office to run a very lucrative cook house, while at the same time demanding and squeezing monies from parents to sustain this new industry at Zeeburg Secondary School.The transfer rate of teachers has been at an all-time high since the change of management in 2017. The source revealed that currently, six teachers have requested a transfer from the educational establishment.As such, calls are yet again being made for the Education Ministry to launch an investigation into these reports.Calls made by this publication for a comment on the issue went unanswered.