NTF Takes Instant Action Following Nigeria’s Failure To Qualify For World Team Cup
The Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) has swung into immediate action following Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Turkey.
Nigeria came third at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup Africa Qualification event held for five days in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, with South Africa taking the Men’s and Women’s tickets.
And while responding to questions from journalists after the closing ceremony on Sunday, 11 February, 2024, the NTF President, Engr. Dayo Akindoju, revealed the next steps the federation is taking towards ensuring Nigeria catches up with the nations ahead of them.
He noted that it was not surprising that South Africa won the tickets to represent Africa, because Africa deserves the best to represent her at the World Team Cup event in Turkey.
Akindoju stated, however, that Nigeria will not rest on her oars until the country produces more and really amazing wheelchair tennis talents to take over from the current crop of players.
“If you observed, the players who prosecuted this competition are players who have always been representing Nigeria for so many years, that’s why we’re working on getting new players to learn from and take over from these ones.
“To this end, I have given a marching order to the wheelchair tennis coach to open a camping programme for the wheelchair tennis players in Ilorin in March.
“The idea is to get new players for wheelchair tennis and we expect to have a new set of players by next year, who can lead Nigeria to glory,” he said.
In a swift response to the NTF President’s directive, Coach Frank Termena, the national wheelchair tennis coach, noted that plans are already in place to kick off this new initiative.
“Yes, it is true what the president said. We will get into work immediately and share the blueprint once we’re ready to roll.
“But I can confirm that we are definitely doing this because we need to unearth new talents for Nigerian wheelchair tennis,” he told Nigeria Tennis Live.
Nigeria also narrowly missed the opportunity to have representatives at the Paralympics after missing out on the ticket during the Para Games in Accra in 2023.
But there are hopes that this new move by the NTF President will revive Nigeria’s chances in subsequent tournaments.