Sunday, March 3, 2024

Tennis association aims high to qualify for US open

Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) is targeting International Tennis Federation (ITF) top 100 rankings to stand a chance to qualify for United States (US) Open tournament.

This was revealed by BTA president, Oaitse Thipe in an interview. He explained that BTA is planning to increase a number of ITF tournaments to give players a chance to reach top rankings and qualify for US open.

In 2019 BTA came up with a strategy for Development of national Sport Systems (DNSS) which was to implement the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) for years 2020-2024, increase pool of coaches that coach high level players(level 2) ,Players to receive high level training and target qualification of junior Olympics (2022) and to improve monitoring and evaluation of our Development programs in local schools and tennis clubs.

The president noted:”The BTA strategy implementation was affected by Covid-19 in that the association could not host international tennis tournaments, however there was a lot that has been happening last year and this year. BTA currently have a recorded 7 Batswana players who have qualified for Africa Junior Champs under 18 and 16 in Tunisia.

The players will be starting the tournament on Monday and the plan with these players is to get them to play Junior French, Wimbledon by 2023.”Amongst the challenges, level 2 Coaches course was not hosted because BTA could not bring an ITF certified tutor to conduct the course.

Nevertheless, Thipe mentions that the association managed to conduct a record of three ‘Play and Stay’ courses in 2020 increasing the number of certified coaches in the country.BTA thrives through their goal settings despite the setbacks from the pandemic, Thipe said BTA has engaged an officer who oversees development of clubs and schools’ tennis programs.

The appointed officer will be going to Schools as soon as sports is allowed in schools.In other development, “in December 2020, BTA hosted participation camps in Masunga, Maun, Molepolole and Jwaneng. The plan in onwards to the year 2023 is to increase local tournaments outside Gaborone and Francistown, Thipe added.


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