NCC Tennis League has given us value for money, official says
Reuben Muoka, NCC’s Head of Public Affairs, told newsmen on the sidelines of the competition’s second semi-finals in Abuja that this was why the commission would continue to sponsor the event.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the second semi-finals fixture of the open team tennis championship is between Tombim team of Abuja and Kalotari of Port-Harcourt.
The fixture holding at the National Tennis Centre of the Abuja National Stadium is a seven-match series involving a doubles match, two ladies singles and four men’s singles.
The best of seven games fixture is played over two days.
Muoka said the commission would continue to sponsor the championship as long as the impact was being felt among Nigerians and tennis lovers.
“This is the maiden edition and we are hopeful and confident that the management of the commission will give it another consideration next year, because this particular one has given us value for money.
“ It has made an impact following the number of people at the event on Saturday.
“ I do not think that there is any tennis competition in Nigeria where you see this number of people coming to watch and participate. So, the impact is being felt.
“And if this value continues to come, I guess I can assure that we will continue to support it,’’ he said.
Muoka however pointed out that NCC’s aim in sponsoring the championship was to engage Nigerian youths as well as sharpen their skills in the sport.
“Tennis is one of the sports in Nigeria which have not reached a stage where we will have people playing at the international level.
“So, we need to develop skills of the youths at different parts of the country and that is why we went for a unique type of tennis tournament, which is like a league.
“The NCC wants to create the enabling environment for the youths, so that many of them can possibly participate in international competitions individually in the nearest future,’’ he said.
NAN reports that in the second semi-final fixture, hosts Tombim take a 3-0 lead into the event’s second day, after winning two male singles and one female singles.
On Saturday, Moses Michael had beaten Sylvester Emmanuel to win the opening male singles for Tombim, before they went on to win the second male singles 6-4, 6-3.
Sarah Adegoke extended their lead later in the day by beating Osariemen Airhunnwude 6-3, 6-4 in the female singles.
NAN reports that the league which began in April will end in December in Lagos, with the winning team going home with N5 million in cash prize.