11th October, 2011
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, LOC, of the Governorâ€™s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship, Chief Pius Akinyelure, has described the tourney as the pride of Nigeria and Africa.
The Governorâ€™s Cup, sponsored by Etisalat and FCMB, will hold at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan from 14-30 October. Chief Akinyelure said the annual tennis circuit has become a toast of both local and international players, who have seen it as a platform to enhance their ITFâ€™s world rankings every year.
Accoring to him, the Governorâ€™s Cup annually gives the highest prize money of $80,000 (over N12m) to winners and has become the best in Africa, South America and the Oceanic.
Akinyelure said Â this yearâ€™s edition would have over 300 players across the globe jostling for honours in the two-week sporting fiesta. He said the LOC members are delighted with the success recorded in the previous editions for the last decade.
Chief Akinyelure, appreciated the generosity and vision of the sponsors of the tourney in raising Â the nationâ€™s tennis to global standard, saying with the competition Nigeria would soon become a force to reckon with in the international circuit.
He acknowledged the host of the tourney, The Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, for being accommodating, supportive and for Â its willingness to take the game to the greater heights since the inception of the championship.
Meanwhile, board member of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Prof. Philemon Ikulayo, has lauded the initiative of the Lagos State government for organising the championship, saying it would offer Nigerian players the needed exposure in the game.
Prof. Ikulayo said the tourney would give the players an opportunity to interract with other international players across the world which could later improve their proffessional careers abroad.
She said the only concern of the NTF is that no Nigerian player has ever won the competition,adding that Â it would be a great delight to see the players win the championship very soon.
â€œGovernorâ€™s Cup is a big tourney. Apart from the monetry value for the players, it would afford the nationâ€™s tennis lovers an opportunity to watch these international players,â€ she said.
Ikulayo promised to involve the primary and secondary schools students in this yearâ€™s edition in order to develop their interest Â in the game.
â€œI want Â primary and secondary students to be part of this tourney. They should come to the court and watch these matches. This would develop their interest in the beautiful game,â€ she said.