Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 'NTF Will Focus On Junior Cadre in 2013'

Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) President, Engr. Sani Ndanusa has announced the federation's plans to focus mainly on the development of the junior cadre of the game this year.

Ndanusa, who spoke to reporters on the heels of the camping of the Team Nigeria ahead of the West and Central African Junior qualifiers camp holding in Abuja, said having prosecuted 95% of the federation's programmes last year, attention will this year be focused on consolidating on the youth development programmes.

Besides, he informed that the NTF would pay more attention to wheelchair tennis this year in a bid to further strengthen it. "We have a 3-fold agenda this 2013.

After successfully executing 95% of our programmes in 2012, we are going to focus on first, junior tennis, wheelchair tennis and then schools tennis. These are initiatives we have resolved to pursue this year. It is also our 2013 expectation."

Ndanusa said as a matter of policy, the Nigeria Tennis Federation will also focus on attending all youth tennis tournaments be it regional, national or continental which the players qualified for last year.

Meanwhile, two US-based tennis starlets Rotimi Adetunji and Tayo Adetunji are among the fourteen starlets in the Abuja camp of the Team Nigeria junior tennis players preparing for the African Junior Qualifiers for 14 and under and 16 and under slated for Cotonou, Togo.

The siblings are born in the United States to Nigerian parents and will be competing for Nigeria for the first time in the West and Central African Tennis regional qualifiers.

The tournament is sanctioned by the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) and International Tennis Federation (ITF). The Nigerian team which came 2nd last year in the same tournament started camping December 27 last year to end this weekend January 6.

Coach of the team comprising six boys and eight girls, Ubale Mohammed said the final list will be out today where three players will be dropped for eleven to hit Togo this weekend. "We initially planned to open camp with 26 players but decided because of time to trim down to the best 14.

By Friday, the final list of 11 will be out. Last year we came 2nd in the same tourney but looking forward to doing better this year. We have an experienced team coupled with the arrival of two American based siblings Rotimi Adetunji and Tayo Adetunji.

We also have Joseph Imeh who is in the ITF training centre in South Africa and Emmanuel Idoko who will be going to the United States after the tournament. So, it is a good team and the spirit in camp is very high and they are all looking forward to representing Nigeria in the biggest junior ITF championship", Ubale said.

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