Former junior national team tennis player Natasha Siku has created a talent identification initiative named Opportunities Without Borders, with a mandate of helping local athletes to find scholarships in the USA and to also educate the athletes about off field lessons they need to pay attention to in order to succeed.
Siku, a beneficiary of a five year individual scholarship in the USA, recently returned to Botswana and she has already set her sights on making an impact in the sports fraternity. In her own words, Opportunities Without Borders will present locally based athletes to have a chance to pursue and earn scholarships in America (across five different cities, including New York).
“Our most goal is to ensure that the athletes who may get scholarships learn to balance athletic and academic performances. Getting good grades or maintaining a high GPA is very important, striking that perfect balance will go a long way in terms of ensuring that one’s scholarship tenure is successful,” Siku told Gazette Sport.
“I have established a network of coaches in America who are always looking to develop young talent. Most colleges in the USA have great pride in working with South American and African athletes, they are always keen to work with them and this is a major plus for any athletes aspiring for an overseas scholarship,” Siku continued.
Siku also added that her organization’s aim is to have fruitful discussions with parents to let them know that sport can also be a career path that their kids can benefit from. She also appealed to the government to invest more in sports and continue to improve grass-roots development.
The youth development enthusiast has opened the door for support from the government and the private sector but underlined that she is focused on growing her brand first. Siku can be contacted on the Opportunities Without Borders Facebook page.