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.
Tomorrow, November 6, 2014 has been declared National Thanksgiving Day and is to be observed throughout Liberia as a national holiday. All businesses and public houses are to be closed.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, by a Proclamation issued this week, has called upon all Liberians and foreign residents, clergymen and women and all religious organizations to gather in their places of worship to give thanks and praise to the Almighty God, that his mercies may continuously rest upon Liberia as a nation and upon all Liberians.There has been no better time in the existence of Liberia that underscores the need for the divine intervention and the healing hands of the Almighty than this period when the Ebola Virus Disease (EDV), the worst ever health crisis to face the nation, is threatening the existence of the state. On this day, the residents will be thanking God through prayers for His healing hands upon the nation.The people of Liberia, President Sirleaf said, have always given thanks and praises to God for His mercy on the nation, especially for “His continuous protection and blessings in times of peace, disaster and other natural phenomena and for sustaining us politically, socially and economically over the years,” the President said.The Proclamation, which was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, noted, “At this moment of our national existence, the Liberian people are overwhelmingly confronted by the deadly Ebola virus. The virus has wreaked havoc in the country and confounds the collective efforts of the nation and the international community to contain the effects of the disease, currently claiming the precious lives of more than 1,800 of our compatriots.“It is befitting that a day has been set aside for the nation and its people to give thanks and adoration to the Lord for His dispensation of grace, mercy, and providence for the perseverance of our lives and to overcome the spreading of the pathogenic disease,” the Proclamation continued.It was in 1883 that the National Legislature, in session, enacted a statute declaring the first Thursday in November of each year as a National Thanksgiving Day. This came after the nation had gone through some rough times.Though the day is traditionally used to give thanks and praises to God for His goodness during the year, this year’s celebration will take a different dimension as all Liberians, as they have done in recent weeks, will be focused on prayer and intersession for the Ebola menace to be eradicated from Liberia.The nation’s health experts have stressed that there is no time for complacency and religious leaders continue to call on their followers to unceasing prays for the nation for “total deliverance”. This should, however, be the order of Thursday.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)