By John Egbokhan
As the curtains came down on the 2010 NNPC/Chevron Junior Tennis Masters in Lagos yesterday, sponsors of the annual event, have pledged to continue investing in the development of tennis in the country.
Speaking after the final match featuring top seed, Samuel Omoile, and Umaru Balami on the Lord Rumens Centre Court at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, the Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Limited, Andrew Fawthrop, who expressed his delight with the quality of play by the two finalists, said that the firmâ€™s desire to contribute to the growth of youth talents, necessitated the bankrolling of the competition.
â€œAs a responsible organization with robust Corporate Responsibility programmes, we believe that investments in the youth are priceless, noble and inspiring. We are pleased that we have been encouraged by these young ones who have continued to prosper and bring honour to the country.
â€œBeyond just competing against one another, the Junior Masters Tournament allows the youth the opportunity to forge bonds of friendships to share ideas, and work together in building the nation of their dreamsâ€, added Fawthrop, who noted that the tournament would continue to enjoy their patronage.
â€œThe NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture sponsors the Junior Tennis Masters Championship as part of our youth development and empowerment initiatives. We have remained steadfast in supporting this tournament and the Joint Venture is delighted at the progress over the last decade of our sponsorshipâ€, he said.
Fawthrop said the future of tennis in Nigeria can be bright if the current players strive for excellence, irrespective of the tough time that they are facing
â€œSeveral past winners and participants have successfully advanced their education and have developed into professionals in various endeavours.
Others have made professional progress in the tennis circuit and are now doing well in their chosen careers.Â For instance, Fatima Abinu, a former Junior Masters Tennis Championship participant is ranked Number One among female tennis players in the country, while the winner of 2009 Junior Masters Tennis Championshipâ€.