The Botswana tennis junior team has failed to qualify for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Davis and Billie Jean competition to be held in Turkey this year. This comes after Team Botswana competed at the ITF/CAT Southern African junior teams championship under 14 and Under 16 categories that was held in Zimbabwe over the weekend.
Botswana competed with Angola, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius in a tournament that served as a qualifying event for both Davis and Billie Jean competition and the African junior team’s championships.
The Botswana team that was led by coaches Gaone Modisane and Brighton Keteng was made up of 12 tennis players.
Team Botswana was represented by Ntungamili Raguin, Martin Seetso,Talinda Sechele in the Under 14 boys category while in the Under 14 girls Bashali Phatshwane, Mbali Qame and Rethabile Moshoa made the team. In the Under 16 boys category Mark Nawa, Seabo Saleshando and Esi Molefhe were selected and in the under 16 girls category Naledi Raguin, Chelsea Changanyuka and Atlang Chongwe formed part of the team.
Even though Botswana failed to qualify for the most coveted global showpiece, it has however secured a qualification at the upcoming Africa Junior championships under 16 competition to be held in Tunisia next month after finishing third in the qualifiers.
Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) President Oaitse Thipe hailed the team performance by saying that the players are developing to be world class athletes.
“Before we take them anywhere we need to adequately get them in the right framework by getting them into camp but this need financial input,” he said. Thipe further said their objective at the regional tournament was to ensure that the team qualifies for team competitions.
“The individual Africa junior championships will see players taking part in Tunisia from the 31st to the 5th of June but I want to state that individually our players played well,” said Thipe.
Thipe indicated that the Association is working tirelessly to ensure that local tennis players are given the needed support to reach their full potential. He mentioned that they have continued to come up with different interventions geared towards assisting junior tennis players.
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.