Tennis

Lagos tennis boss promises to support age-grade tourneys

There has been movement in the rankings of female tennis professionals especially those who had a strong showing with remarkable performances and great results in the recently concluded first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, in Melbourne Park.

The Chairman of Lagos State Tennis Association, Mr Tokunbo Agoro, has promised to continue supporting age-grade tournaments.

He made this known while speaking with journalists at the 8th edition of the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) Junior Tennis Championship held at FAAN Quarters, Ikeja, Lagos.

Agoro commended the FAAN Tennis Club for organizing the annual age-grade tournaments for children under the ages of 12, 14 and 16 years.

“It is very good and encouraging. This falls into what Lagos state has been preaching. This type of tournament is very important. We are catching them young at this particular age to develop tennis among the kids.

“In Lagos State, we are trying to make sure that every kid must be in school to have a good chance of playing tennis. Also, we intend to create a central tennis timetable for the competitions so that one tourney will not clash with the other.

“We shall continue to sport any competition that will bring out talents for Lawn Tennis in Lagos state,” Agoro explained.

In the same vein, the Vice Chairman of FAAN Tennis Club, Mr Kingsley Nwokoma, expressed his happiness seeing the kids again and implored the government to support the club to achieve more success.

“It is exciting to see these kids playing tennis again and we begin to see the progress. We know that the only way to get to the top of every sport is through junior cadres. There is no shortcut to success.

“We implore the government to help in developing these kids. FAAN Tennis Club is doing it all alone because of her love for the game. If we can get little of government’s participation and supports, I am sure we would have kids that will get to the finals of ATP,” he said.

Dele Badejo, tournament Director and the coach explained the reasons behind the tourney.

Badejo said, “We focus on children’s tournaments so that we can catch them young and impart the skills of the game into the kids to become world champions tomorrow.

“As a coach, I have taken it upon myself to monitor the progress of these children and continue to encourage them at every given opportunity.”

The Coach also begged the government to provide sporting facilities in schools for the athletes to develop their skills.

At the finals, Sofia Agbabiaka defeated Osahinrun Osas 6-3,7-1,6-8, Basit Ajao beat Gabriel Inyang 6-2,5-7,10-8 in Under ’16 girls and boys categories.

Other winners are: Ndidi Osaji (Under 12 girls), Toheeb Oseni (Under 12 boys), Osahirun Osas (Under 14 girls), Kehinde Lawal (Under 14 boys).

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