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Stars of the future shine in Francistown

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Racquets swished and balls flew at the Francistown Tennis Club on Saturday as eager youngsters dreaming of becoming the next Roger Federer or Serena Williams took to the courts to do battle.

In total, 17 Francistown-based players took part in the inter-city action, which started under the morning sun and ended with the floodlights blaring.

Open to all skill levels, with ages ranging from six to 14, the season-ending tournament was divided into three categories: Red balls for the beginners, Orange balls for the intermediates and Green balls for the more accomplished players.

Reflecting on a successful day’s tennis, event organiser, Refilwe Chongwe told Voice Sport, “The matches were intense, high-quality affairs but played in a good spirit.

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“There is talent in Ghetto, it just needs to be nurtured and exposed. We can go far with this sport if it’s handled properly.”

34-year-old Chongwe, who runs the Francistown Tennis Sport Academy, explained she set up the day-long tournie to give the kids a chance to showcase their skills in a competitive setting.

TROPHY TIME: Orange ball stars

“Club athletes were eager to play so I decided to organise a wrap up tournament. I wanted to introduce the kids to the fun and pressure of the sport as they have been playing separately due to Covid regulations.”

Describing the initiative as a fun-filled success, a description backed up by the constant laughter that emanated from the courts throughout the day, Chongwe plans to host similar events throughout 2022.

“I’d also like to thanks the parents for getting behind this project, without their support this would not have been possible,” she ended.

WINNERS

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Red Ball Orange Ball Green Ball

1. Mbatshi Hlabano 1. Angel Chongwe 1. Atlang Chongwe

2. Khalil Hassim 2. Besley Marakalala 2. Talinda Sechele

3. Ahmed Hassim 3. Lebone Tomeletso 3. Jason Ramphart

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