NCC Splashes N5m On Winners As Tennis League Debuts In Nigeria
Winners of the inaugural NCC Tennis Cup will get a staggering N5m for their efforts, Naija Tennis Special can authoritatively report.
|Former National Champion, Henry Atseye, wants to win the N5 million jackpot with his team
According to Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, who made this revelation during a press briefing to formally unveil the event on Thursday, 19 March at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, LLTC, Onikan, Lagos, plans have been concluded to stage the tournament which will feature a minimum of seven players.
According to him, the 1st runner-up gets N3m, the 2nd runner-up will smile home with N2m while the 3rd-runner up will go home with a pay pack of N1m at the end of the meetings.
Ojobo informed that the aim of the tournament is to positively engage tennis players and provide a platform for them to improve their game.
He stated further that, “we want to build interest in the sport and raise the standard of the game, we are also out to contribute to the growth of the sports in the country, give recognition to tennis players.
“Also, we want to promote healthy competition across the country, take high level tennis to parts of the country which otherwise will not see such standard of play thereby motivating the sporting youths in the area.
“After looking at what tennis is in the country presently, these are the reasons the NCC is painstakingly sponsoring this Tennis Cup”.
|Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, during the briefing at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos on Thursday, 19 March, 2015
The Competition, our correspondent also gathered, is open to club teams, state teams and company/institution teams and each team must have a minimum of two tennis courts with space for spectators.
The competition which will be managed by Godwin Kienka’s International Tennis Academy, ITA, will comprise; zonal play-offs, Quarter Finals, Semi Final and Finals while each tie shall feature two men’s single matches with reverses, one ladies singles, one men’s doubles and a mixed double over a 30-week period.
One of Nigeria’s top players, Samuel Omoile, has already expressed his delight at having such a tournament in the country especially with the dearth of tennis championships.
The Dubai-based tennis star told our correspondent from his base that, “I really think it is a good idea. I am already looking forward to it as I believe it will come out really good”.
|Coordinator of the tournament, Mr. Godwin Kienka, Director, International Tennis Academy, ITA after the draws on Thursday Photos: Damilare Okunola
Another top player, Henry Atseye, who was on ground for the draws of the Tennis League, boasted that his team would win the event he tagged Nigeria’s biggest ever.
“To put up about 5m for the team that wins is not a mean feat, it is like the biggest prize money for any competition in the country and I can assure you that right from now, the main aim is to get the top prize.
“We are truly grateful to the sponsors for their help and we hope and pray that they maintain and sustain this championship for as long as possible,” the former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Open Winner offered.