Tuesday, November 30, 2021

BTF organises camp for out of school youth

The Botswana Tennis Federation has found it fit to organize camp for inactive tennis players who are either waiting for their results or have not performed well in their studies.

The camp, which will start on Monday, is targeted at former Form 5s and 3s. The camp is also in preparation for the Morocco ITF CAT Junior Championships that will take place in Morocco. It is also meant to get the players geared up for the under 20 Botswana Games and the African Nations Cup.

Boikobo Gaolebale, the Federation’s technical Manager for juniors, said they have realized that post-school players that went through their development structures have been going to waste. He said they are many reasons for it, one of the reasons being the lack of finances.

He explained that due to the problem some of the players had to go out and look for something to fend for themselves.

“It’s difficult, to convince someone to come to camp at the expense of his job,” he said.

The lack of training facilities in their respective towns and villages is another challenge that makes it inevitable to lose out-of-school players.

“We currently have no league because we do not have sponsors, our players, as a result, have no where to train to be fit and maintain their form. The clubs that we have cannot afford the tennis equipment as it is expensive. A tennis ball has a lifespan of just a few hours, once it loses its fur that’s the end of it and it has to be immediately replaced. This camp, hopefully, will help these players to maintain their fitness so that they can always be ready to play in tournaments,” he said.

For students that will do well and go for tertiary education, Gaolebale said that the students are exposed to the Zebras elite scholarship so that they can further tennis skills even at tertiary level.

Meanwhile Thabiso Mabaka, Katlego Gouwe and Lame Botshoma have all secured enough points at the Kenya Junior Championships to participate in the Morocco African Junior championships.
Botshoma, had however, colleted enough points even ahead of the Kenya met to qualify for Morocco, and only participated in Kenya to gain match fitness.

There are, however, some players who did not qualify and Gaolebale revealed that they are in the process of talking to the International Tennis Federation (ITF), so that a compromise can be reached to allow the players to participate. The tournament is important for the players as points accumulated in the tourneys can earn one a place in an ITF and Colleges or break into the professional ranks.

Recently a Malagasy youth, Lufo Ramiaramanana, broke into the professional ranks after accumulating enough points from playing in the African Championships. He is currently based in Spain where he is pursuing his professional carrier.

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