The decision of the Technical Committee of the 13th National Sports Festival to accommodate wheelchair tennis as one of the new sports has been hailed by the Nigeria Tennis Federation.
Coaches and players have also been rejoicing at the development which will see the game making its debut in Calabar, Cross River later this year.
|Engr. Sani Ndanusa is excited by the inclusion of wheelchair tennis in the National Sports Festival.|
NTF president, Engr. Sani Ndanusa was full of praise for the decision which he pointed is a lifeline for the game.
He said: “Wheelchair tennis is one sport that Nigeria has lots of potential and it gladdens the Nigeria Tennis Federation that it will now be at the front burner as our players will be able to show their skills at the level of the National Sports Festival which is regarded as the country’s version of the Olympics.”
While expressing gratitude to the technical committee as well as the National Sports Commission for its appoval, Ndanusa, a former minister of sports, enthused that the popularity of the sport will be enhanced which will help in attracting sponsors.
Simlarly, national wheelchair tennis head coach Frank Tarmena expressed delight saying with two African men titles as well as appearances on the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics the game deserved to be considered for an event like the National Sports Festival.
“We have made our mark on the international stage by winning the African championship twice which fetched us participations at the World Team Cup as well as the Paralympics,” he stated.
The only tournament for the sport in Nigeria is the Central Bank of Nigeria Open Championship where the game is categorised from the main championship.
This latest development is also sure to excite top Nigerian wheelchair tennis players who have participated in the Paralympics and the World Team Cup, where they gave a good account of themselves representing Nigeria very well.