As­so­ci­a­tion searches for young ten­nis tal­ent

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

The Le­sotho Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion (LTA) is search­ing for young tal­ent to in­crease the coun­try’s player-base.

Ac­cord­ing to LTA pres­i­dent, Kamo­h­elo Hlomisi, over 120 young­sters turned up for a two-day schools tour­na­ment held at the na­tional Ten­nis Courts last week­end, which he said was “en­cour­ag­ing”.

“It was re­ally en­cour­ag­ing to see so many young­sters turn­ing up for the tour­na­ment whose aim was to iden­tify young tal­ent,” hlomisi told the Le­sotho Times.

“Not only were the kids mo­ti­vated, I can also tell you that they are very tal­ented and the fu­ture looks bright for ten­nis in this coun­try.”

hlomisi fur­ther said the tour­na­ment was at­tended by male and fe­male un­der-14, 12 and 10 play­ers .

“The as­so­ci­a­tion spon­sored the com­pe­ti­tion and gave out tro­phies to out­stand­ing in­di­vid­u­als in all the cat­e­gories,” said hlomisi.

“We are work­ing with schools to spot tal­ent and the way things turned out at the week­end tells us that the part­ner­ship is work­ing out very well.

“We will stage an­other com­pe­ti­tion in De­cem­ber and the good thing is KFC has come on board and will be spon­sor­ing the event, which means that it will be even big­ger and bet­ter.”

The ini­tia­tive to fo­cus on the grass­roots came af­ter Le­sotho won a bronze medal at the 2015 All-africa Games held in the Congo, hlomisi added.

“That was a big boost for lo­cal ten­nis; it en­cour­aged us to con­tinue putting more en­ergy into tal­ent-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“We get equip­ment from the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion to in­vest in young tal­ent and this is ex­actly what we are do­ing.

“I would also like to thank the par­ents of the kids who have been very sup­port­ive and turned out in big num­bers to watch the chil­dren play at the week­end.

“One of the par­ents ended up spon­sor­ing the tour­na­ment with 80 sand­wiches and en­ergy drinks.

“We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated this ges­ture and gave us the strength to con­tinue with our tal­ent-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion ini­tia-

tive.”

Win­ners Un­der-10 (boys): Mpho Leshoele (gold) Tankiso Nyoko (sil­ver).

Un­der-12 sin­gles Boys: Re­filoe Tjoboko (gold medal), Neo Maine (sil­ver) Girls: Kamo­h­elo Khobo­tle Moipone Ntšoeu (sil­ver)

Un­der-14 Boys: Palling Sempe (gold), Lerato Mathibela (sil­ver) Girls: nthabiseng Mo­hapi Sthem­bile Mabuse (sil­ver)

(Gold)

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