In a historic moment for Botswana Squash Rackets Association four of its top male players are currently in Namibia in the ongoing World Junior Championships.
Tebogo Tlhabologo (15), Theo Pelonomi (15), Edward Sibanda (14) and Mickey Joseph (15) are expected to gain a lot of experience in the Championships coming to the end this Sunday.
“This is our maiden world junior appearance. It’s a big platform which will help our youngsters to become better players. It doesn’t get bigger than this,” said the President of the Botswana Squash Rackets Association Tiego Rabasha.
Rabasha was speaking during a send off ceremony for the players held at Francistown Club. Rabasha revealed that their appearance at the international championships was made possible by private sponsors who sponsored Team Botswana with brand new rackets and kit worth over P9000.
“These are our top four seeded players in the country. I’m proud to say three of them are from Francistown club while the other is from Jwaneng. These boys started training three years ago.”
“I’m also excited because it is our chance to gauge ourselves against the best in the world. For the youngsters to see and be part of the sport at such a high level would go a long way in growing the sport in the country,” continued Rabasha.
Although it is an achievement on its own to be part of the games, the youngsters are still hopeful of bringing medals.
“It would be great if they can bring a medal from the tournament. I want the boys to compete. Even if they lose, they would have lost against the best in the well world,” the President said.
He encouraged the squash players to pick the positives from the tournament. The quartet participated both in individual and team events.
“Since it will be our very first world appearance, the championships will give the players exposure. If they come back seeded in the top 100 it would be a bonus. I would be very happy. At least it would be a base to start working on”, concluded Rabasha.
The teenagers who were given a hearty sent off by the members of the Francistown club, were accompanied by their coach Titus Mlalazi.
Mlazi has over 40 youngsters below the age of 19 years under his wings.