Botswana Tennis Youngster

Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) is currently hosting a week long tournament that seeks to unearth Botswana’s best talent. The tournament is sponsored by Electric Junction and is in its third year running.
According to BTA’s Publicity Secretary for Junior Tennis,Godiraone Kootshabe whose committee was only elected in June as part of BTA’s mandate to develop tennis from grassroots there is need to give priority to development and they are looking at growing tennis not only in the towns and cities but also at disadvantaged areas.
While Electric Junction has increased this year’s sponsorship to by P8 000 from last year’s P21 000, according to Kootshabe it is not just about money but rather giving children an opportunity to play and compete.
This year’s tournament has attracted competitors from Lesotho who have shown that they are not just here to add numbers but to compete.
‘’We have close to 200 children and the good thing is that we also have those from Machaneng, Mogoditshane, Molepolole, Maun, Masunga which are villages. We have made sure that the tournament is played in a knockout scenario in the singles category. We want children to play as many competitive games as possible but we will not send those who have been knocked out home. They will play in back draws ad this will make sure that all losers have an opportunity to play many more competitive games, ’’ said Kootshabe.
Kootshabe believes their commitment is paying dividends because they have seen players growing from this tournament to the national team. Last year a product of this tournament Innocent Tidimane won a scholarship programme to South Africa where he is currently studying and schooling with all expenses paid for.
‘’Our players are improving with each competition which is what is needed to have a strong base in development. We are currently experiencing such in this years tournament. We are also happy that most players competing here have access to training grounds at their respective places. We are also happy that all of them are trained and guided daily by people with a basic knowledge of tennis at the worst. We have trained teachers because they are the ones who work with these children most of the time.’’ Kootshabe told Voice sport

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