By John Egbokhan
A former member of Nigeria’s Davis Cup team, Sadiq Abdullahi has released a tennis master plan which he hopes would stimulate the development of tennis in the country in the next ten years.
Code-named the Next Generation Tennis and Education Programmes, Abdullahi, who holds a doctorate degree in sports psychology education, said in a correspondence with Sports Vanguard, that the idea behind the project started in 2005, when the Nigerian tennis community in the United States of America, met in Texas to brainstorm on the state of tennis in Nigeria.
“The objective of the gathering was to sketch out a Roadmap for Tennis Development. In 2008, the Nigerian Tennis Foundation-USA, was incorporated in Florida. In 2009, a draft of the roadmap was presented to the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Sani Ndanusa, for review and approval.
He envisioned that all talented Nigerian tennis youths can successfully go through the programmes and compete at national, continental and international competitions as student-athletes and world-class professionals
Abdullahi added that the mission was to discover, train, educate and expose talented Nigerian youths to high rigour of tennis training and competitions locally and around the world while providing them the education which they need to excel in life.
To achieve the aforementioned, Abdullahi said that the Nigerian Tennis Foundation shall utilise the International Tennis Federation mini-tennis and United States Tennis Association quick-start programmes as models for the Nigerian project.
“The programmes will include After-school tennis, weekend tennis, summer camp, inter-schools challenge and junior tennis league”.
He noted that an estimated budget of $100, 000 pear year was needed per year for the first eight years while the projected estimate for the last two years will be $250, 000.
Abdullahi added that “the Tennis Foundation shall partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria, through both the National Sports Commission and the Nigeria Tennis Federation. We shall partner with state and local governments and businesses.
The organisation shall also partner with members of the Nigerian Tennis Coaches Association, United States Professional Coaches Association and Professional Tennis Registry in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.
“The organisation will set up the Nigerian Tennis Players and Coaches Registry to keep records of all players and coaches in the programme”. Sadiq is expected in Nigeria in August to prepare grounds for the take-off of his lofty project.