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ITF Officiating School Makes Unprecedented History In Abuja

His has been made at the ongoing ITF Level 1 Officiating school which comes to a close on Wednesday, 5 June, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.

The event which started on 2 June inside the high performance center inside the Package B of the National Stadium, Abuja, has quite a number of officials in attendance.

Nigeria Tennis Live had initially reported that the training was planned for only 20 participants but after being overwhelmed by entries, the organizers allowed over thirty students attend the school.

The officiating school organized by the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) and the Nigeria Tennis Umpires Association (NTUA) is also featuring some of the best umpires in Africa.

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Mr. Saidu Musa, a Bronze Badge umpire and Mr. Kehinde Ijaola, a white badge umpire are the two men tasked with the responsibilities of tutoring the incoming umpires.

Mr. Ijaola, who spoke with our correspondent, explained the details of the event: “The reason we decided to organize this training is to replace some of our officials that are no more with us. By death, they’re no more with us. Lanre Adenekan, Arinola Isa, Cosmos, and a few guys as well.

“It’s also to replace some of the officials that are old, those that are no longer chanced or who are unable to continue with officiating.

“What we did was to concentrate more on female participation because nowadays, ITF wants more female officials. So, we have selected 31 candidates for this school, 17 or 18 female, the rest are male.

“Also, we tried to teach the new rules to these officials and we have also taken them through practical classes as well.

“At the end of the day, we hope this set of officials will be vibrant because we considered a lot of things before selecting these ones but ITF approved that we should do for all of them, so, they’re 31 candidates.

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“Normally, it should be a class of 20 but ITF approved that we should do for all of them, so they will be given certificates and will become national umpires at the end of the course and some of them might be officiating before the year runs out.

“Of course we have the approval of the federation and the president himself was there to declare the programme open and give his goodwill message.

“The chairman of NTUA, Rose Abu, was also around, as well as the secretary of the association.

“The students comprise of both players that want to retire from active playing, and the participants are scattered across the country.

READ ALSO: NTUA Organizes First Ever Advantage All Workshop For Tennis Officials

NTF President, Engr. Ifedayo Akindoju, who was extremely ecstatic about the turnout of the students, told Nigeria Tennis Live that it was a historic feat for Nigerian tennis.

“This is the first time we’re having this number of females taking attending an officiating school in Nigeria, this kind of stuff has never happened before.

“Also, it’s been a long time since we had this training. We’ve always had it in Lagos, but we had to bring it to the Federal Capital this time around,” he explained.

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