The tennis Africa Junior Championship (AJC), which will see Under-14 and 16 players compete, kicked-off at the Notwane tennis courts today.
Ten out of the expected 12 southern African countries will take part.
Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) public relations officer, Shelton Benzah told Mmegi Sport that the tournament is a qualifier for the Africa Championship to be played in March in Tunisia. South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe are some of the early favourites.
Other countries taking part are Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi and Mauritius. Angola and Zambia failed to send teams.
There is an added incentive for players who conquer at the Africa Championships as they will get an opportunity to tour Europe.
"Each country has brought 12 players, which is threeplayers per category. Botswana has been allowed to field two teams; A and B, which means we have 24 players," Benzah said.
He said by the end of last year, Botswana was ranked 17th in Africa and are hopeful that the rankings would improve by the end of the AJC championship. Denzel Seetso, Tshegofatso Tsiang and Loago Saleshando are among local players who carry the nation’s hope.
The rest of the Botswana squad: Tsholofelo Tsiang, Thabang Mosupi, Batsomi Marobela, Jonathan Gaetsaloe, Thato Madikwe, Anele Maplanka, Leungo Monnayoo, Atshene Phatshwane, Lilly Poely, Kao Lenkopanye, Katlego Mogorosi, Abia Bleskit, Mark Nawa, Oabona Keobatlile, Arnold Bleskit, Amantle Dishebo, Kefilwe Sebitola, Keoratile Gwapela, Leungo Gaobotse, Bangu Maekejo and Ekua Refilwe.