Sibanda no longer with NTA

• By Michael Uugwanga

NAMIBIA Tennis Association (NTA) development coach and national junior tennis initiative coordinator, Wellington Sibanda has left his position after NTA allegedly refused to pay for his work permit.

As a result Sibanda is set to return to his homeland of Zimbabwe next week after spending four and half years in Namibia with NTA.

Sibanda was the coach of Namibia’s tennis team that was at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five in Angola in 2016 and in Botswana in 2018.

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Speaking to Confidente this week, Sibanda said he felt not wanted by NTA after saying that the association had told him that it did not have money to pay for his legal paperwork in order for him to continue with his work in the country.

“I have negotiated my work permit so that at least I pay half of the money but at the end they said they do not have money, so NTA asked me to pay for myself for the work permit after I was given a loan from NTA treasury office when I went to Thailand in 2019 to attend a worldwide coaches conference.

“ I have managed to take up the matter with the treasury of NTA but instead was referred to NTA president on the matter of work permit but after meeting the president who refused to say anything on my work permit problems, so I thought of paying for myself.

“The amount that was deducted from me was N$6 000 once off, so I felt I can no longer afford to pay this time the work permit because it is expensive. I was really frustrated by that. Maybe I am no longer performing that is why they do not want to pay for my permit, but I always stood for my development players regardless. I do give private lessons as part of the agreement with NTA,” he said.

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Sibanda also said that the country has potential players that can take tennis to greater heights if well nurtured and supported.

He therefore says that the only way tennis can grow in the country is when learners get tennis lessons during school holidays.

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“When schools close there is always nothing happening that’s when we need to do training camps for selected top eight players per age group from all regions because that is what it is done in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

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For example if you ask those players at the ongoing AUSC Region Five games on how many tournaments they have taken part in, you will be surprised,” said Sibanda.