10th September, 2013
President, Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has made a passionate appeal to the organisers of the annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship to incorporate wheelchair tennis to the ITF-sanctioned Pro-Circuit.
Ndanusa who spoke with P.M.NEWS Tennis Special, made this appeal out of his passion for the disabled sport and the country’s continuous progress on the continent.
He also enthused that since the wheelchair tennis players had a feel of a major championship in the country- CBN Open-earlier this year, the players have been clamouring for more top class competition.
“Wheelchair tennis has suffered in recent years in the country because we don’t really have people to sponsor their tournaments.
“Early this year, CBN added wheelchair tennis to the annual championship and we all saw the outcome. Since then, the players have been yearning for more top class action” the Nigera Olympic Committee, NOC President said.
He also added that, “We are appealing to the Local Confirming Organising Committee of the Governor’s Cup to include the disabled players in their programme as we also look forward to getting sponsors for the sport in the country.”
Confirming the Federation’s request is tournament director of the Governor’s Cup, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, who explained that the appeal of the NTF may not be able to change the fact that the Championship is sanctioned by the ITF only for able-bodied people.
He further explained that bringing wheelchair tennis into the Championship will not go in line with the World Tennis Governing Body’s rule, stating that having wheelchair as a ‘demonstration’ is the only way the disabled sport can feature at te Championship.
“It is true that the Federation wants wheelchair tennis for the Governor’s Cup but it’s not something that we can add because this is an international tournament which ITF sanctioned only for the able-bodied players.
“The only way we can have wheelchair tennis action is if there’s a demonstration because we can’t go against the rules of the Championship” Prince Oladunjoye offered.
Meanwhile, P.M.NEWS Tennis Special can also report that the U-18 players who left Nigeria for a Junior Championship in Benin Republic, early on Monday morning, have arrived their destination safely ahead of the tournament.
This much was also disclosed by the President of the Federation during a chat with P.M.NEWS Tennis Special.
“The players arrived Benin Republic safely and will be there for the rest of this week. They will be back next week by God’s Grace. They are all in good conditions according to what the coach told me” He said.