Motor Centre Botswana has moved to take off junior tennis players from its sponsorship of the Botswana Open Tennis as it switches its focus to the seniors.
Speaking during the launch of the Motor Centre Botswana Open Tennis Championships’ sponsorship on Monday, Motor Centre Toyota Group Managing Director, Yusuf Dada, said the move is a deliberate one to try and grow the Championship’s main event. Addressing the media, Dada said the move was made to try and make the Botswana Open Tennis championship main events to rival and compete with the other big events in the region.
“From last year’s event, we have realized that more money needs to be put into the senior event so that we can be able to attract the highest ranked players in the region if not the continent,” Dada explained.
He said as a way towards achieving this, this year’s championships will carry better prize monies than ever before.
“This should make this year’s event one of the biggest and also the most attractive event in the country and the region as a whole,” Dada said.
Motor Centre Botswana will sponsor this year’s event to the tune of P113 035, with the bulk of the money going towards prize monies.
According to Dada, P76 035 of the sponsorship money will go towards prize monies, an increase of more than P20 000 over the past year’s prize monies. The remaining balance, a total of P37 000 will go towards covering the costs of the tournament. Apart from the championship sponsorship money, the local motor giants have also availed a total of P12 800 towards the upgrade and maintenance of tennis facilities.
Dada said that the sponsorship of tennis is a show of Motor Centre’s commitment to growing sport, more especially tennis in Botswana.
“Sport in Botswana has come of age and we can see the results that we are getting in all the various sporting codes and this is why we as Motor Centre feel that we need to keep investing in sport, especially tennis, since we also want to see Serena Williams or Rodger Federer coming from Botswana or the region,” he said.
Dada added that as such, Motor Centre is happy that the largest number of players in this tournament will be from within the country, something which he said “will give local players competition to enable them to compete with the best in the region”.
For his part, Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) President, Nelson Amanze, expressed delight at the continued support tennis is getting from Motor Centre Botswana group. He said for this year’s event, even players who get knocked out in the last sixteen will not go home empty handed, a practice which he said is common in the world’s leading tennis championships.
The winner of the men’s singles event will walk away with P7 200 prize money while the runner up will get P4 600. The semi finalists will get P2 300 each, quarter finalists P1 150 each while those knocked out in the last sixteen will get P575 each.
In the ladies’ singles category, the winner and the runner up will get P4 600 and P2┬á300, respectively, while the semi finalists and the quarter finalists will get P1 150 each and P575 each, respectively.
The winners and runners up of the men’s double category will walk away with P4 200 per pair and P2 400 per pair, respectively, while the winners and runners up in the ladies’ doubles will get P2 600 per pair and P1 600 per pair, respectively.
The Motor Centre Botswana Open Tennis championship kicks off this coming Saturday and will come to a close on Monday. The games will be hosted at the BTA courts.