Tennis transforms young Mark

| September 13, 2015

It might be a relatively unpopular sport in Botswana but to its players, tennis compares favourably with other sporting codes such as karate. Some owe the transformation in their lives to the sport and nine-year old Mark Nawa is one such individual.

Before playing tennis, his future seemed bleak. The young lad was such a troublesome child, both at home and school.

In an interview last week, founder and Francistown School of Tennis director, Dominique Raguin, explained that after Mark joined the school at the age of seven, he immediately got intrigued by the young boy’s athletic skills and keenness to learn the sport.

However, he was concerned that young Mark was unfocused and a challenge to manage because he was simply out of control.

“Mark was always in trouble with his teachers at school and was always punished for bad behaviour, was getting low grades and his mother was always called at school to help control him but the little boy’s behaviour remained the same.

One day my wife told young Mark’s mother about the Francistown School of Tennis, he enrolled and his behaviour and grades improved dramatically since then,” says Raguin. Thanks to Mark’s love for tennis, he changed his behaviour and approach to his academic work.

Raguin says he was a difficult child to control and always threw tantrums but nevertheless loved tennis so much that we devised a strategy that if he caused trouble at home, school or anywhere else, he would not be allowed to play tennis, nor travel with the team for any competitions. That really changed his attitude for the better, reckons Raguin.

He notes that every day before their tennis sessions, students get assisted with their homework. He believes that also contributed to Mark’s improved grades.

“Mark is arguably the best nine-year old tennis player in Botswana currently given his recent achievements at the Botswana National Junior Champions in Gaborone in July and the Orapa Junior Open in August.

Apart from that, he is turning out to be one of the most promising young players in southern Africa as illustrated by his recent achievments at the Meadlands Junior Open in Gweru, Zimbabwe in August and Daveyton Y-Tex tournaments in Benoni, South Africa. In those tournaments, Mark systematically won the single and double tournaments respectively,” he says.

For her part, Nawa’s mother, Sisi Nawa, says she thanks God and Raguin for the Francistown School of Tennis, noting that it has really transformed her once troublesome son.

She says Nawa’s behaviour, both at home and school, has changed for the better.

Nawa adds that although tennis is an expensive sport in terms of buying equipment and regalia, she and her family support him immensely to reach greater heights.

“There is a cabinet at home full of medals and trophies that he won at different competitions. I am very proud of my son,” says the happy mother.

In an interview, the young tennis ace reveals that he loves playing tennis because he enjoys it. He mentions Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal as his favourite tennis players.

“In future, I want to be a professional tennis player and play in big tournaments such as Wimbledon and US Open,” he reckons.

Category: General

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