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Dear Hanty Arin: An Ode To Mrs Arinola Isa One Year After

One year after the demise of Nigeria’s highly revered tennis umpire, Arinola Isa, Nigeria Tennis Live pays tribute to her with this Dear Hanty Arin article.

Dear Hanty Arin,

It’s been exactly one year since you left us and everything has not remained the same for us ever since. We want to give you some updates sha, based on you’ve not been here with us to witness those things.

Hanty Arin, since your demise, we have not been able to replace you o. Nigeria still does not have an ITF Referee.

READ ALSO: Wimbledon: How Hard Is It For A Nigerian To Reach The Main Draw?

But we learnt that some people are already working on becoming Referees. It will ease the burden of needing one from another country, you know – right?

Hanty Arin, the last time we saw you at a public function was at the CBN Open, but since that last edition, we haven’t had another one o, looks like they had issues and it affected us as well. Hopefully, we can have it in 2025.

Somebody even promised us a tournament late last year but disappointed us after players had converged in Abuja. It was a really devastating period for our players. Laidis, we have played only two national tournaments this year. Hopefully, Dala will make it the third.

READ ALSO: NTF Opens Media Accreditation For Davis Cup Coverage

Dear Hanty Arin, despite the plenty issues with tennis in Nigeria, the NTF has organized the first ever J60 tournament which was won by Nigerians. And we had four weeks of Junior ITF this year. Quite an improvement, yes?

In about 12 days, we will be hosting Davis Cup. You would have been one of the umpires there, right? We’re still working on certain things sha, everything will be set – don’t worry.

The Nigerian ladies narrowly missed qualification for Group II of the Billie Jean King Cup competition in Kenya recently, they really tried. You’d have been proud of their performance.

Madam Aisha Hirse was in Kenya as one of the ITF-designated umpires and she sure made us proud.

You know, since you left us, Madam Rose Abu has been doing a lot for tennis officiating, especially female umpires. Nigeria organized the first ever Advantage All Tennis Workshop in Abuja recently, all thanks to Madam Rose.

One of the attendees, Faith Ameh, said you’re one of her inspirations, and that’s why she decided to focus her energy on officiating. She’s going to be greater than you, right?

READ ALSO: First Time Officiating In Roland Garros – Nigerian Umpire Shares Experience

Speaking about Madam Rose, she has also gone and done it o. Yes! She officiated at the Roland Garros for the first time ever and she was so graceful while at it.

Nigerians across the world celebrated her. But you know she would have missed your motivations a lot. She did very well, though. She was very solid!

Hanty Arin, we have already begun preparations for the next edition of the Adewale Isa Foundation tennis tournament in Lagos.

Your siblings are really putting a lot of efforts into this year’s event, and they are leaving no stone unturned to make it a great competition.

Dear Hanty Arin, tennis rackets are now very expensive in the market o. Imagine not being able to afford a new one even with 300/400k.

READ ALSO: Player, Coach, Umpire: Mary Tenu-Michael, A Paragon Of Nigerian Tennis

Epp us ask God to smile on us o, because things are getting a lot ‘better’ in Naija these days.

What else are we missing out?

Anyways, we know that whether we cry a river or weep an ocean, it wouldn’t bring you back – even though we would gladly do that if it would, we are comforted that you are resting.

Dear Hanty Arin, we miss you so much and love you dearly but God loves you more and chose to bring you close.

Keep resting in peace.

Your tennis buddies


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