8th May, 2013
Former national handball player, Dr. Toyin Aluko, who is now an Assistant Director in the National Sports Commission, NSC, has said that with adequate training and an enabling environment the present crop of Nigerian female tennis players can dominate the sport on the African continent.
Speaking with P.M.NEWS Sports during the final ceremony of the 2013 CBN Open held at the tennis court of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, on Saturday, the President of Nigeria Association of Women In Sports, NAWIS, Lagos State chapter, opined that most of the top female tennis players in the country have enough talents to compete with their counterparts across Africa.
Dr Aluko noted that what most Nigerian players lack are adequate training and technical support that would equip them with the techniques of modern day tennis.
She said: “I have always believed that Nigerian female tennis players have what it takes to become great if they train well and stay focused. Also, with more support from the federation and the corporate bodies, they will dominate tennis in Africa.”
Commenting on what need to be done to maximise the potentials of the present crop female players in the country to ensure that they take a leading role in African tennis, Dr. Aluko said: “We need to go back to the basics by taking tennis to the grassroots. Every individual can always contribute his or her own quota by buying tennis rackets and balls for our little kids in the primary schools or secondary schools.
“The likes of Ronke Akingbade, Christie Agugbom and Fatima Abinu have what it takes to be the best in the world, but they need to believe in themselves and move their game to the next level. Before you know it we will start winning international tourneys all over the world.
“It doesn’t matter what your background is and where you come from, if you have dreams and goals, that’s all that matters.”
Dr Aluko however, said she intends to continue to advocate for more tourneys for female tennis in Nigeria through NAWIS.