Reports reaching Nigerian Tennis Live have it that Team Civil Defence, the defending champions of the NCC Tennis League have been disbanded from participating in the competition for obvious technical reasons.
The organizers explained that the team was disbanded because it possessed more than two Top 10 players within their fold, which is a contradiction to the rules governing the tennis league. Thus, the players have been attached to other teams to create balance and healthy rivalry.
Nigerian Tennis Live reports that all of these were announced at the draws to herald the opening of the 2018 edition of the league at the Tennis Centre of the Abuja National Stadium on Friday, 7 September, 2018.
|Abdulmumin Babalola and Clifford Enosoregbe are now with Team Leadway Assurance.|
The 12 teams were divided into Blue and White groups – the major colours of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).
In the Blue Group are Teams Leadway Assurance (Lagos), Offikwu (Kaduna), Luik (Lekki – Lagos), Yetade (Ekiti) Next Generation (Abuja) and SBL (Jos) while the White Group has Teams Tech Vibe (Jos), Goshen (Ilorin), Kalotari (Port Harcourt), CBN Futures (Lagos), Orofina (Wari) and Anambra (Onitsha).
The highlight of the draws ceremony was the unveiling of four new teams. From Jos, which now has two teams, came Team SBL sponsored by Governor Lalung, an avid tennis player, in his personal capacity; Team Leadway Assurance which will be based in Lagos; Team Orofina sponsored by an NGO from the South South and Team Next Gen backed by a group of tennis enthusiasts in Abuja.
Tech Vibe (Jos) which debuted last year are the No.1 ranked team in the competition with Joseph Imeh, Thomas Otu and Aanu Aiyegbusi leading a pack that will ensure top flight tennis competitions in Jos. They lead the White Group.
Top of the Blue Group is Team Leadway Assurance, backed by the foremost insurance organisation in Nigeria with Babalola Abdulmumin, Clifford Enosoregbe, and current women’s champion, Sarah Adegoke on their list.
“We are very happy with the impact this competition is making in the lives of our youth. Any investment that seeks to engage and empower our youths financially and in other positive ways is a worthy one. In addition we are taking a sport besides football to develop talent and reach different parts of the nation,” the executive vice president of the NCC, represented by Iyabo Solanke, the Director of research and development, said in his remarks.
The Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) which was represented by Vice President Iro Yahaya and Secretary General Mrs Mariam Akande expressed their gratitude to NCC for initiating such a laudable project and pledged their full support.
Alhaji Iro promised to raise a team next year to be known as Team Dala with Kano as their base.
The NCC Tennis League is run by the International Tennis Academy.