Coach Usman Abubakar from Sokoto state, has revealed reasons he and his players took the risk of traveling to Lagos to participate in the Azimuth Shipping Lines Limited Junior Tennis Championship.
In an exclusive chat with Nigeria Tennis Live, the coach explained that they first heard about the competition when Elisha Kwange from Niger state won the 12 & Unders at the last edition, and this was a major boost for them in the north.
He noted that he and his players have limited access to information, so, they’ve only been limited to regional competitions. However, when they heard about the Azimuth event, they had to go all the way.
“Gaskiya, this Azimuth is a Grade A tournament. We heard about it when one boy (Kwange) from Niger State won the 12 & Under, it was a big boost.
“So, I decided that this year, we’ll come with our players for exposure and to compete against their friends in the same age group,” Coach Abubakar said.
Asked why he thinks Azimuth is a Grade A junior national tournament, he stated that the organization was superb “from the accommodation to the feeding and the branding for the event, the organizers did a really great job.
“I don’t think there are many tournaments that offer these benefits around, so, a big kudos to the organizers and sponsor.”
But Coach Abubakar does not consider insecurity as a threat to achieving his goal of exposing his players to high level junior competition.
“The issue of insecurity or banditry is something we’re all aware of, and we know very well, but it should not stop us from achieving our goals.
“All we need to do is pray to God and commit the journey into his hands, everything else will fall in place. We cannot hide under it and not achieve our goals.
“When the players got here, they mixed with others, hit the balls with them, interacted with them, and they learnt a lot from one another, and that was why I came with them.
“It was a very successful tournament for us by my standards and we shall surely come back next time insha allah,” the visibly impressed Sokoto-based tennis tutor said.