Twenty-eight swimmers for Goodwill Swim Meet this year
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THE Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) has selected a final team of 28 swimmers and five officials to represent the country later this month at the regional Goodwill Swim Meet scheduled to be held at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre in St Lucia from August 19 to 25.The team, which consists of 12 boys and 16 girls, includes last year’s leading gold medallist, Aleka Persaud, as well as Goodwill multiple silver medallist Leon Seaton, and bronze medallists Phillip DeNobrega and Patrice Mahaica.
The team also includes newcomer Nia Fraser from the USA, whose parents are Guyanese.
The four officials are national coach Sean Baksh, team manager Mervin Munroe, GASA president Ivan Persaud, chaperones Shannie Rodrigues, and Lorren Mahaica.
Speaking with Guyana Chronicle, Baksh noted the Association’s disappointment with not being able to take the full team, due to financial constraints.
The budget for the team was approximately US$800 per person. The Association was able to secure tax exemptions that placed the tickets at US$514 per person. However Baksh noted, this was still tough on a lot of parents.
“We’re a little bit disappointed because we should be taking a full team of 40 (swimmers) but it is based on economics, the cost of the ticket right now, and at the moment sponsors are not really helping because of whatever is going on in the economy at the moment so we didn’t get much,” Baksh said.
The Goodwill Swim Meet is an annual developmental age group event where swimmers from Guyana compete against swimmers from Trinidad, Barbados, Suriname, and StLucia. Additionally the host nation is allowed to extend an invitation to any other country to participate. Bahamas was once again extended the invitation, after also participating last year.
Each country is allowed to field a maximum 40 swimmers, a number that Guyana has continued to struggle with over the years, even when the meet is held on home turf. Last year Guyana finished fifth overall with a final tally of 29 medals – 21 from individual events and 8 relay medals. The competition was won by Trinidad and Tobago.
Aleka was Guyana’s most decorated swimmer with five gold medals and one silver. This year, despite prevailing circumstances, Baksh is hopeful that the team will not come back empty-handed notwithstanding in what position we finish.
“It’s a fairly good team, we have some top guns in there. Aleka Persaud, Leon Seaton, Raekwon Noel, the girls Jayden and Danielle are really stepping up, so I think we will get some medals, but based on the size of the team, we can’t really make any inroads on the overall team position.” Baksh remarked.
The team is expected to depart Guyana on August 18.
The complete team is as follows
8-and-Under:
Boys: Jayden Daniel
Girls: Ariel Rodrigues, Kayla Hardy, Kaylee Hardy
9–10 years old
Boys: Raekwon Noel, Paul Mahaica, Lejaun Munroe
Girls: Aleka Persaud, Patrice Mahaica, Antonia Dey, Nia Fraser
11-12 years old
Boys: Leon Seaton, Sekhel TSedeq, Ejaz Mohammed
Girls: Jayden George, Danielle George, Nekita Peters, Amber De Goeas
13–14 years old
Boys: Nathon Hackett, Nikhil Ramnarine, George Telford
Girls: Teshanna Hunter, Kenita Mahaica
15-17 years old
Boys: Philip DeNobrega, Antonio Rodrigues
Girls: Anna Isaacs, Kayth Goddette, Felisha Wiliams

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