INTERNATIONAL tennis coach, Mojalefa Mothibe, has encouraged the Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association (LLTA) to send their players for trials at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) centre in Morocco.
Mothibe who is among the top tennis coaches in the country and has an ITF level 2 certificate said other countries have been utilising such opportunities to have their players getting placed at the centre for development purposes with great results.
The former national team coach has been a coach at the ITF centre in Morocco for the last four months.
“There are many opportunities here for young players and I think it would be best if our tennis association can utilise them,” Mothibe told the Sunday Express from his Morocco base.
“Other countries have been sending their players here from the ages of 13 to 18 for trials and if the players pass the trials they get full scholarship at the facility.”
He said the facility has competitive programmes that help players both academically and in their development as sportspersons.
“There are good programmes that help players both academically and in sports. They are in school from 0700hours to 1000hours then practice from 1030hours to 1630hours. They rest afterwards and also have to be in school from 1900hours to 2030hours.
“Most importantly there are some tournaments lined up for players the whole year and that helps them grow. That also increases their chances of going to the big competitions such as Olympics as long as they perform well.
“I just returned from a tournament in Tunisia and Algeria last weekend where my players performed exceptionally as the majority managed to reach the semifinal while others lost in finals,” he said.
Mothibe said another advantage for enrolling at the centre is that tennis is an expensive sport that many players cannot afford to fund without assistance whereas the centre provides everything.
“Tennis is one of the most expensive sports and that has hindered growth of our athletes back home. However, it would be much simpler once a player is admitted as they will get all their requirements from training equipment to coaching,” he said.
Asked if Lesotho has players who can qualify for the scholarship, Mothibe said the country has abundant talent and it was only up to the association “to do things right”.
“We do not work with individuals but the associations so it is up to our association to do the right thing and send players here as there are lots of players with potential to make it,” Mothibe said.