Tennis development in Nigeria may have taken a new turn following plans by the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) to include 18 weeks of Junior ITF Tournaments in the annual calendar.
Nigeria Tennis Live exclusively gathered that the NTF applied for 18 weeks of junior international competition in the country, but was turned down because the application came in quite late for the beginning of 2019.
The NTF president, Engr. Dayo Akindoju, who spoke with our correspondent on tennis development in Nigeria, emphasised the importance of having such competitions in Nigeria as against traveling to other countries to play.
He explained in details that the federation can no longer get tournaments between January and June but that they already applied for slots between June 2019 and June 2020.
“We applied for 18 weeks of ITF Juniors and we got sponsors for some of them. We are even trying to sell the idea to some states as well, to host the competition.
“But our application got to the ITF quite late, so we cannot get between January and June. We were told that there’s only slot for between June and December. So, we have applied for June to June 2020 for 18 weeks which may spread to 24 weeks,” Engr. Akindoju informed Nigeria Tennis Live.
While also explaining how the federation intends to go about the tournament and application, the NTF number one man explained that there’s a new tournament committee on ground to facilitate these moves.
According to him: “We have sub committees in the board. The thing is organising junior tournaments is not really expensive. Apart from accommodation and feeding, there’s really nothing else, other than the gift items.
“So, we are encouraging as many sponsors and prospective sponsors as we can get to look into sponsorship of junior competitions like this.
“We plan to move the tournament across different locations. Uyo, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, Lagos and Abuja for a start. We are also trying to do a one-page summary and send to other states to encourage them to organize such tournaments.”
Nigeria’s Oyinlomo Quadre is currently one of the top junior players as she is ranked 301 in the world. She will benefit immensely if the Junior ITF Circuits make their way to Nigeria for 18 weeks.