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Phikwe tennis courts get facelift

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Selebi-Phikwe tennis courts will finally get the long promised facelift following an impasse between the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and the land owners, Selebi-Phikwe Town Council (SPTC).

The Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) had to play a waiting game owing to a dispute between the BNSC and the SPTC.

The local authority wanted to expand the bus rank, which would have affected the tennis courts and the matter took long to be resolved. BTA president, Nelson Amanze told Mmegi Sport this week that the impasse has been resolved and the project is going ahead. He said the project is being done under the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Grand Slam Development Fund. Amanze said the most important thing is the safety of players.

“You must remember that Selebi-Phikwe has one of the best development programmes in the country. We have to make sure that they have the best facilities,” Amanze said.

ITF Development Officer for Southern Africa, Riaan Kruger said the ITF Grand Slam Development Fund approved a grant of US$15,000 (approx. P150,000) to the BTA. He said the first instalment of US$5,000 (P50,000) was paid in November 2015. 

“The ITF will wait for the progress report

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before the remaining funds are released as is common practice. ITF Grand Slam Development Fund grants have been allocated to the BTA in the past. Previous grants were awarded to the Notwane Club, which serves as the national training centre,” said Kruger.

He said BTA receives equipment through the ITF’s Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) programme, which is then distributed throughout the country, including programmes in Francistown and Selebi-Phikwe. He said BTA provides reports every four months in April, September and December on how the equipment has been distributed.

“The BTA receives a grant from the ITF Grand Slam Development Fund through the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) specifically to help with the costs of hosting a regional junior tournament. Notwane Club is the ideal venue to host the event in Botswana due to its location and the number of courts,” he said.

Kruger said he will be visiting Selebi-Phikwe in his next trip to Botswana to see the progress of the developments at the courts.



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