27th September, 2011
Bronze medal winner in the Doubles event at the recently concluded Garden City Games in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Akosile Afolarin, has tasked Nigerian Tennis Federation, NTF, to organise more competitions for the development of the game.
Akosile made this known to Tennis Special at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. She said dearth of tournaments in the country is responsible for the nationâ€™s absence at the international tournaments.
â€œThere is need for the federation to ensure that more tournaments are organised for both junior and senior players. The more you participate in competitions, the better you are. They need to expose us to international tournaments,â€ she said.
The number 2 ranked player in the junior category added that there is need to upgrade the facilities available to international standard, saying it would boost the confidence of the players when they participate in international competitions.
â€œThey should please help us upgrade the facilities to international standard. It would help us to be confident even when competing with our counterparts at international competitions. We need clay and grass courts. It is not when players compete at the international competitions that they would be exposed to standard facilities,â€ she said.
She also called on corporate organisations to support the beautiful game by sponsoring competitions and upgrading the sport facilities, saying that the NTF cannot develop the sport alone.
â€œCorporate bodies should assist the NTF in developing this beautiful game. They need to sponsor tournaments and players for international competitions. The game is expensive to run, we need the support of corporate bodies to survive,” she said.
The 100 level student of the Public Administration department, Lagos State University, however, charged upcoming players to be more focused on the game and equip themselves educationally.
â€œYoung players, especially ladies, should be focused on this game because there would be a lot of distractions from guys. They should be humble and most importantly, also focus on their education,â€ she said.