President of the Nigerian Tennis Federation, Engineer Ifedayo Akindoju has promised a bright future for Nigerian tennis, but warns that it may take some time before the the country returns to the ‘good old days’ in the sport.
Speaking at the conclusion of the Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship in Kano over the weekend, Akindoju said the sport is in a rebuilding process, opining that Nigerian tennis can only get better from here.
“This is the minimum we can be, we can only go up from here”, the president said. “We are rebuilding tennis, and it will take some time but we will come back to our good old days when we used to do very well”.
Akindoju called on well-meaning individuals and the corporate world to support the sport, insisting that Nigeria has what it takes to excel in the sport. The president also spoke of the need to invest in the grassroot level so as to develop a new set of players to take over from the already established stars.
“I’m using this medium to appeal to all potential sponsors- tennis is a sport that we must play in Nigeria. We have all it takes to play tennis in Nigeria so I’ll expect that we put it as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility to support this sport”.
“We need at this time like never before corporate sponsorship, individual sponsorship not just for this level, but also the grassroot level because we need to be grooming new set of players to take over from the crop of players we have now”.
Akindoju was in Kano to watch the grande final of the Dala Hard Court Tennis Championship, where Thomas Otu defeated Joseph Imeh to win the men’s title on Saturday, and Blessing Samuel claimed the women’s prize with victory over Sarah Adegoke.