The Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) is set to hold the first ever Zonal Championship in Jos, the Plateau state capital from the 15th to 20th of August, 2022.
Ayuba Nuhu, the Chairman, Plateau Tennis Association made this known in a live sports programme, The Arena on Highland Fm, in Jos, Plateau state.
The Chairman disclosed that the Zonal Championship will involve the Six North Central states and Abuja, with over 70 players expected to participate.
According to Nuhu, “In the last board meeting we had, we were trying to look at what’s happening and how we can develop the game. One of the things just like I said is that we need to step down and go back to the grassroot level. And that’s why, instead of just organizing national competitions, we said let us step it down to Zonal competitions, from there to the state level and the Local government level. That’s why we are staging this first Zonal Championship in the North Central. Luckily, the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Engr. Ifedayo Akindoju is from the North Central Zone and I happen to be in the North Central so I said okay, let us bring it down to Jos”.
Nuhu blamed Nigeria’s poor performance in Tennis to lack of Tennis academies and the concentration on old players.
“One of the things we had lost is that we’ve concentrated on the old players and before you can break through in Tennis, you must start from an early age, from 6 or at most 8.
“But unfortunately, we’ve neglected the Academy and that’s our major problem. That’s why you hardly find us go anywhere even the Davies cup that Nigeria was known for in representing Africa, we have been further relegated”
“The tournament is for U12, U14 and U16. The main venue of this tournament is Plateau Club Tennis court. There are about three Tennis courts there and very close. We are expecting about 80 players in Total from the 6 North Central states and Abuja”.