By Olayinka Elebute And Abegunde Tolulope
Caretaker Chairman of Nigeria Tennis Federation Dayo Akindoju has highlighted his next focus for the federation.
Akindoju in an interview with Gongnews.net stated that it is his desire to see the growth of the game with the abundant of young talent that Nigeria parades in the cadre.
“I am going to be concentrating a lot on junior tournament especially international junior tournaments, I want those kids that are already there to grow to the senior ranks,” Akindoju told Gongnews.net.
“This is a stage that is transition stage. You know if you don’t transit well from age 14 to 16, 18, you know you may not go too far because of what your mates in other advance countries have gone through. The kind of tournaments their age mates play throughout the year, the people they are going to meet in future.
“In Spain, the kind of tournament they are playing at the age 14 if you don’t play that same tournament with them is difficult for you to catch up with them.
“You know so that why we are attracting junior tournament to Nigeria and we are going to be attracting more of J5 to come and also J4 and then ultimately we get to J1 which is top rank for the junior Tennis players across the world.”
Explaining further, the Engineer whose passion for Tennis is topnotch, said the federation’s focus is to ensure the junior player is at the same level with the other junior grandslam.
“You know which is one of our dreams that if we have any player that get to top 100 in the junior category we will expose them to play more junior grandslam and the biggest advantage in playing junior grandslam is that you are fully exposed to the world.
“Sponsorship generally comes very easily because there are scouts and people that are out to scout for. Talented tennis players and once you are discovered, it will be easier for your career path to be smooth. So that’s just my target how I will help create the next super tennis stars is my next hobby,” he said.
“My board and I have been on a mission and we will endeavour to build a strong youth Tennis culture that will create a future for Nigeria so we the young talent normally gather in this grandslam and once they have their eyes on your player or a player from your country you are rest assured that means they will finance their training they will finance their tournament for such player and finance accommodation finance travel finance even kits.
“You know racket and so on that’s one area we are trying to expose our athlete to improve their ranking by playing more of this tournament win them play win and then your ranking goes up and then finally you can get to top 100 you can play J2, you can play in J1 and then even start to play the Pro series when they turn 18 so this is about what it is so far.
“That has been my plans from the beginning and with our youngsters and we will continue to give them opportunity to be better and compete at the top.” ,Akindoju concluded.