Engr. Dayo Akindoju, the president of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) has updated teeming Nigerian tennis enthusiasts on the latest developments as regards the proposed Junior ITF competitions in the country.
The NTF president in a recent post, had revealed that the federation applied for 18 weeks of Junior ITF tournament to boost tennis development in the country, but it was not approved to start at the beginning of the year because the application came in late.
He therefore informed that the 18 weeks of junior ITF competition in Nigeria would kick off sometime in June and continue into the first half of year 2020.
And in an exclusive chat with Nigeria Tennis Live, Engr. Akindoju who sponsors the annual Dayak Open, informed that there is a huge possibility of Nigeria starting with the proposed Junior ITF tournaments in July and hold it in September and December again.
According to him: “The junior ITF tournament, like I mentioned the other time, will not start at the beginning of the year, but we’re likely to start sometime around July, hold one in September and another in December.
“The plan is to have three weeks for each of the months, actually… that makes it nine weeks this year and another nine weeks in the early stages of 2020.
“So, we’re working really hard to ensure that this junior tournament kicks off this year. And we also have to be able to sustain it as well.”
When asked about the NTF Calendar for year 2019, and why the federation had yet to make it public, Akindoju noted that some of the events were still yet to be confirmed by the sponsors as the forthcoming general election is on the mind of most of them.
“And I really don’t like it when we send out the calendar and fail to hold some of the tournaments. People will now start pointing accusing fingers at me and ask why I put it there since I knew they were not going to have it.
“But really, how can I know the mind of a sponsor who suddenly changed his mind? Or how am I supposed to know he was going to change his mind or slow down on the promise?
“We are positive this year, that things will take shape, especially as we are hoping to have the first tournament as early as February, if things really work out as planned,” he explained.
Nigeria Tennis Live will keep monitoring the federation to get the NTF calendar as soon as it is available for public ‘consumption’.