30th March, 2011
The Botswana Tennis Association, BTA, has received a timely boost for the hosting of the Africa Junior Tennis Championships after cellular phone service provider, Orange donated kits worth more than P60,000.
The BTA indicated last week that it had a shortfall of P650,000 to host the event, especially the warm-up tournament that starts today.
BTA spokesperson, Nelson Amanze, said Orange will buy kits for players after the company decided to up its sponsorship from P10,000 to more than P60,000. Amanze said the sponsorship comes as a relief after the Confederation of African Tennis, CAT requested the local association to host the tournament at the 11th hour following a decision to move the competition from turbulent Egypt.
He appealed to companies and individuals to support the tournament that will attract players from Africa, Europe and North America.
BTA president, Oshinka Tsiang, said they are encouraged by the way companies have responded to their plea for funds. He was optimistic that more sponsors will come on board.
Tsiang said sponsors stand to gain mileage as the event attracts many countries and players. He said the BTA is honoured to get the opportunity to host the event, after initial hosts, Egypt, pulled out due to political unrest.
“We are honoured both as a country and as an association that CAT showed trust in us by allowing Botswana to host this event,” Tsiang said. However, he said the opportunity comes with a challenge as they only have a short time to prepare. BTA was only told about hosting the tournament last month.
“This is the shortest time any country has had to prepare for an event of this magnitude,” he said. Tsiang is grateful to the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) who allowed them to host the event despite the short notice. Botswana will host the CAT annual general meeting from 4-5 April.
The official opening of the junior championships will be today at the Notwane Tennis Centre. A warm-up tournament runs from 29 March to 3 April. It is expected to attract players from as far away as Canada, Australia, Britain, Sweden and Greece, among others.