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National Youth Games: Coaches Decry Poor Screening As Tennis Starts

Coaches from every part of Nigeria expressed their displeasure over the screening process of players participating at the ongoing National Youth Games in Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital.

Trouble had begun when players perceived to be overage were dropped for those who appeared younger, a situation which coaches did not find attractive.

When it got to the turn of tennis players to be screened, the tennis coaches were clearly displeased as they kept shouting “No, no… You can’t do this!” “We know these players because we groomed them since they were young.”

Some of the tennis players waiting for the screening on Thursday, 14 October, 2021. Almost half of them were screened out. Photo credit: Nigeria Tennis Live.

The Screening arm of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) were in turn, irritated by the claims the parents were making.

“Let us do our job,” they said. “If you are aggrieved, no problem. When we’re done here, you can file an appeal and bring to us, we will look into it.,” one of the screening committee members said.

The coaches left the stadium within the premises of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), venue of the screening, for their respective hotels/hostels, but not without a promise to get back to the organizers.

Meanwhile, there’s a brewing tension among tennis coaches and the LOC of the event over the number of events to be played at the competition.

According to the schedule, tennis is meant to kick off on Friday, 15 October, and feelers have it that the possible events have been reduced to one from three.

“How can they say we’ll play just singles and leave Doubles and Mixed Doubles?” one of the coaches began.

“So, somebody will travel all the way from Maiduguri for this tournament and just participate in one event. When he’s out, what then happens? He’ll just keep eating and clapping for his friends?” the coach queried.

Another said: “I went to Badminton, and they’re having all their events. How’s Badminton different from tennis?

“Even if we don’t have full sets, we must play all our events, I just don’t get these people.”

Nigeria Tennis Live will keep monitoring the activities at the tennis section of the competition as the draws will be made this morning.

We shall report all the details to our teeming audience scattered across the globe.

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