13th September, 2011
Nine year old player, Debutu Emmanuel, has appealed to the government and other sports stakeholders to uplift the standard of the game in the country by making it more attractive for players and investors. Debutu made this known to Tennis Special at the Tennis Court of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
He said there is an urgent need for the administrators of the sport to pay more attention to talents discovery and moulding. â€œLet government and corporate outfits kindly help to develop this game. You can see me training with bare foot and tattered racket. There is no professional coach to nurture my talent,â€ he said.
The primary four pupil of Shitta Primary School, Igbaja, said he develops interest in tennis through his role model Rafael Nadal, whom he described as the best of all time. He added that his aspiration is to become an international star. â€œI got inspiration to play tennis through my idol, Rafael Nadal. He is my best player and I want to win international laurels like him,â€ he said.
Debutu lauded his parents for their support and understanding, promising never to disappoint them as he combines his educational and tennis careers. He acknowledged the effort of his senior colleague, Kabiru Abdulmalik, who has been teaching him the rudiments of the game.