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Why I Moved To Dubai In 2018 – Coach Ismaila Sikiru

Coach Ismaila Sikiru is not a new name to Nigerian tennis players, followers and a lot of coaches in the Nigerian tennis space.

Those who have been consistently following him know that he has been out of the country for a while now, and has been a top tennis coach at the United Arab Emirates since he left the shores of Nigeria about six years ago.

Sikiru, a former assistant to top PTR Tester, Coach Abel Ubiebi of the ACES Tennis Academy in Lagos, was named among nine coaches regarded as the best in Nigeria by Barcelona-Spain coaches during a training in Lagos State.

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Asides being identified as a top coach several years ago, he is also credited with working with a number of top Nigerian players including former number one, Joseph Imeh.

Coach Sikiru UAE

But why did he leave Nigeria for the United Arab Emirates despite these accolades he was receiving at the time?

He spoke with Nigeria Tennis Live, and shared his story: “I left Nigeria for Dubai in December 2018 on recommendation by Coach Abel Ubiebi whom I was assisting at the ACES Tennis Academy whenever he was not available.

“It was also for me to get more knowledge and exposure and of course, for the money, because I also needed to pay bills.

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“When I got here, I was working with Simbrsports Academy but I am currently a freelance coach here in the United Arab Emirates.”

As one who has tasted what it feels like coaching in Nigeria and abroad, we asked coach Sikiru what the difference in both climes is, and he had a lot to tell us.

According to him: “The Difference is the coordination and availability of facilities. The difficulty is the weather and the easy part is the schedule of time, you will know the duration of time you are working a day.

“For me, it was easy to work when I first got here because the Academy already made all the necessary arrangements for accommodation but the only problem I had was the change in weather.

“The challenging moment is in the Summer the heat is not friendly one bit, but we always have to cope because that’s the nature here.”

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Apart from working with Joseph Imeh, Coach Sikiru is also credited with working with Nigeria’s only ATP player, Christopher Bulus, US-based Serena Teluwo, top ITJ junior player, Joseph Jimoh, another outstanding Nigerian junior player, Fortune Joseph and national player, Isaac Attah.

Nigeria is proud of her coach and the giant strides he’s made in the past and the ones he’s making outside the country.


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