Francistown Open tournament organizers were let down by Botswana Tennis Association after they agreed to sponsor the games and withdrew at the last minute.

Speaking to Voice Sport this week one of the organizers Macsha Makhumalo said the association agreed to provide balls but changed at short notice disrupting their plans. He said the prize money was supposed to be increased by 30% but because of that inconvenience it remained P1 800.

“We struggle every year to prepare for this tournament. We expected BTA to support us since it is meant for the development of the sport. It is not right to depend solely on the sponsors; the association was supposed to have an input because this tournament is in their calendar of events,” said Makhumalo.

The tournament which was used to select a Francistown regional team had a fair turnout and Makhumalo said they have identified talented youngsters.

He further said they intend to take the sport to primary school; an initiative that could have been implemented last year but was frustrated by the standoff between government and teachers over salaries. Teachers in turn withdrew their labour from all extracurricular activities, bringing to a halt sports activities in schools.

He said another thing that makes development of tennis in the region difficult is that the Development Officer is based in Gaborone and only comes when there is a tournament. He said they asked BTA to appoint regional coordinators who can monitor the development progression and report to the D.O.

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