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Rakgare applauds BTA for hosting junior championships

14 Apr 2024

Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) has been lauded for successfully hosting ITF J30 World Tour Juniors Championships that was staged in Gaborone in the past two weeks.

Over 90 athletes and officials from around the world converged in Gaborone for the tournament, which carried international points that would permit players to get to the junior grand slam, junior French open and junior Wimbledon.

Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare said BTA’s passion and commitment enabled it to stage a well organised event.

“We must congratulate BTA president, Oaitse Thipe and his team for a well-organised World Tour in Botswana,” said Rakgare and added that he was aware that Botswana would be hosting the Davis Cup although their centre was not in a satisfying condition.

“You see renovating stadiums is not an easy thing, but it is important to refurbish them because this is the National Tennis Centre.

We have an increment as the ministry from government from P104 million to P200 million, now from here it is important to ponder that for the 2024-2025-2026 budget what do we do to make sure we have enough for maintenance of our facilities,” he said.

Furthermore, he said it was important for the private sector to come on board and assist government.

“I will say this again, it is only in this country where government does everything in sport.

Show me another country that oeprates like Botswana. I just want to take this opportunity to appeal to the private sector to help. If you look at Mark Nawa, he has a dream to make it, maybe he is going to be the first Motswana to play a Grand Slam,” he said.

BTA vice president technical, Nonofo Othusitse said they were happy with how the tournament was organised.

He said the only challenge was that they had no sponsors, forcing BTA to find alternative means of funding the tournament.

“But in terms of performance, we are happy. Botswana had eight girls in the main draw and seven boys which according to me is a big achievement,” he said and added that it was not easy to get so many players in the main draw. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Anastacia Sibanda

Location : GABORONE

Event : ITF J30 World Tour Juniors Championships

Date : 14 Apr 2024