Tennis youngsters head for Egypt

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Mikia Kalati

Three of Lesotho’s most promising tennis players, Kukutla Motlojoa, Neo Makhakhe and Tšenolo Masia, leave the country on Saturday for the 2015 African Junior Tennis Championship to be held in Egypt.

The tournament takes place in Cairo from 5-10 April, according to the Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association president, Kamohelo Hlomisa.

“We are on a mission to take tennis to greater heights by making sure these young players participate in such high-profile competitions to give them the much-needed international exposure, while we also host local tournaments regularly,” Hlomisa said.

“For those who will not be in Egypt, we will be hosting an Easter tournament in Maseru, through which we hope to identify players who will make our squad for the All-Africa Games to be staged later this year.”

Hlomisa further expressed confidence that tennis would continue to grow, adding the association had identified a group of talented players for further grooming. Some of these players, he added, were now based at tennis academies in South Africa.

“We have so many young tennis players in this country and the association is doing all it can to make sure they have the necessary resources to use their God-given talent to fulfil their potential. It is our intention to make sure these youngsters play the sport at the highest level, hence all these programmes to make sure they are exposed to the best possible facilities and tournaments,” Hlomisa said.

“The future looks bright if only these youngsters can be given the necessary assistance to develop their game, and this is what we are determined to do as an association—to make sure they earn a living through their talent and fly the nation’s flag high wherever they would be playing.

“We would want to see them playing in well-organised competitions both here at home and abroad because it is only then that they can get better. But for this to happen, there is need for all the stakeholders to come together and pull in one direction.”

Meanwhile, Hlomisa expressed satisfaction at the team which took part in the 2015 Southern African Junior Championships held in Gaborone, Botswana from 9-18 January.

“I have been going through the tournament’s performance report which has a lot of good things to say about our players,” Hlomisa said.

“We won’t deny the fact they there is still a long way to go, but the players’ performance was satisfactory. Although they did not bring home any medal, I believe they will get better with time and more such international exposure.

“It should be also noted that we are a new committee that was only elected into office in November last year, but we are delighted with the progress we have made so far both on and off the court.”

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