While many players and coaches were still basking in the euphoria of successes and improvements recorded in Nigerian tennis last year, little did they know what 2015 had in stock for them.
While the tennis aficionados in the country worked really hard to get two additional tournaments last year, this year has been tremendous with the level of tournaments which the stakeholders in the sport have introduced to the racket game.
Therefore, we bring you the movers and shakers of Tennis in 2015 till date.
Mr. Edmond Ajoge (Managing Director, Tombim Services Limited)
|Mr. Edmund Ajoge, the brain behind the Tombim ITF Futures in Abuja|
As this article makes its entrant into the market, an ITF-rated tournament has already commenced in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital. The tournament, Naija Tennis Special gathered, is solely sponsored by Mr. Edmond Ajoge, the Managing Director of Tombim Services Limited. More than many other local tournaments, the Tombim Abuja Open presents a unique opportunity for Nigerian tennis players who cannot travel abroad to get a feel of what an international tournament looks like. The Futures I & II will present them with opportunity of mingling with the ‘big boys’ in tennis and further help them garner ATP points with which they can participate in upcoming international championships from the Main Draws.
More than the sole sponsorship of this history-making event, Mr. Ajoge is credited with sponsorship of tennis players, one of which is Michael Moses, the first Nigerian player to win the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship. Someone once informed that Ajoge is not getting the accolades which his input in Nigerian tennis deserves, but at Naija Tennis Special, we identify and appreciate quality.
Mr. Godwin Kienka (Director, International Tennis Academy)
This name will always appear at every point where Nigerian tennis development is mentioned. Apart from his regular Junior Tennis Championships which he organises on the platform of his International Tennis Academy, ITA, Mr. Kienka, a former umpire with the ITF, also ensured the return of Tennis Masters in the country last year. But, he was not done with Nigerian tennis just yet.
|Mr. Godwin Kienka (far right), during the press briefing to announce the NCC Tennis League at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos|
Late last year, he had exclusively told Naija Tennis Special that a new tennis league was going to make its entrant into the Nigerian tennis scene but, it was early this year that it was officially unveiled. With the commencement of the NCC Tennis League, Nigerian tennis players will have 30 massive weeks to be on their toes, playing tennis. Apart from the N5million prize money for the winning team, the fact that the players will be busy throughout this period is a great plus for the local stars who had hitherto complained of dearth of championships in the country.
Engr. Sani Ndanusa (President, Nigerian Tennis Federation, NTF)
As always, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, President, Nigerian Tennis Federation, NTF, is one of those who are making this year tick already. Like him or loathe him, he always does his ‘best’ for Nigerian tennis as he always makes us realise.
|Engr. Sani Ndanusa, President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, one of the strong men of Nigerian Tennis|
During the Press Conference to officially announce the commencement of the Tombim Abuja Open, the President hailed the historic start to life under the Tombim Futures, stating categorically that the desire of the sponsor is to ensure the tournament rises to 40 in a calendar year.
While we were yet rejoicing over the new tournaments that have made their entrance into the tennis scene, our scoops revealed that another tournament is likely to berth in Kaduna VERY SOON and as always, your ‘eagle-eyed’ and ‘eagle-eared’ Naija Tennis Special will bring you details of the event and the sponsor(s) will be duly given a mention on this platform.
All attention in the country will now be focused on the Abuja Open and Naija Tennis Special promises to bring you images and news from the event.