The International Tennis Academy, organisers of the SNEPCo Junior Tennis Championship coming up in the last quarter of this year, said in a statement in Lagos last week, that they would like to see club, academies and States outside of Lagos, the host State, conduct pre-tournament trials and bring the best in the different age categories to the junior championship.
The statement said that after 10 years of running the ITA Junior Circuit and the very encouraging results achieved, none of the cells that send players to the championships have been inspired to start similar junior championships in their various States except the Kodian Tennis Foundation in Port Harcourt.
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“We would encourage and support the various resource persons in various States to establish pretournament trials before a major event like the SNEPCo Junior Tennis Championships,” said Godwin Kienka, director of the ITA.
He added that, “those who show evidence of conducting a proper trial will be supported with equipment.
“Children who just picked up tennis rackets and are still in the formative stages should be challenged to work harder and not be rewarded with a trip to Lagos or Kaduna where they get to stay in good hotel accommodation, are fed three square meals and are given free tee shirts and coca cola drinks, they should be made to earn it,
“We hope that such pretournament trials will eventually develop into Statewide championships which could then go on to become national events.”
The Academy further said that the 2015 SNEPCo Junior Tennis Championship which will take place at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club at a date to be confirmed soon will feature four age groups – boys and girls 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.