By Chinedu Adonu
ENUGU – NIGERIAN Communication Commission, NCC, has announced that it would give out a total prize money of Twenty Three Million Naira, N23m, to sponsor the 2017 NCC Tennis League organised for tennis teams across the country.
The nationwide tennis league which has been described as the greatest addition to Nigerian sports is centered on engaging and empowering Nigerian Youths through sports, to promote healthy competition in the game of tennis across the country, to positively engage tennis players and to provide a platform to showcase and improve their talent.
The prize monies ranges from seven million, N7,000,000, for the winner while the runner up gets five million, N5,000,000, the third place gets three million,N3,000,000, and finally the fourth place gets two million,N2,000,000.
Addressing journalists in Enugu after the 2-day first semifinal of the NCC Sponsored Tennis League, third edition, held at the Enugu Sports Club, the NCC Head of Public Relations, Mr. Ruben Mouka disclosed that NCC saw the need to develop young talents in Tennis.
He added that Nigeria does not have tennis league until NCC introduced matches between teams in 2015, in which eight (8) teams participated, comprising males and females.
In his words, “We derby with National Tennis League (NTL) in 2015, to organise the first tennis tournament in Nigeria, which had 8 participating team. Last year, about 10 teams participated and 12 teams are participating in this year’s edition. We are having about a total prize money of about 23 million naira, the winner gets 7 million, the runner up gets five million, the third place gets three million and the fourth gets 2 million.
“We also gave each of the twelve teams the sum of five hundred thousand naira (500,000), to enable them prepare for this competition.
“The major objective is to improve tennis in the country because we take quality tennis to all parts of the country and those that participate in this tournament are those best Nigerian tennis players in males and females”, Mouka disclosed.
The Executive Captain of Tennis Section of Enugu Sports Club Dr. Lawrence Azike, further buttressed that the essence of the tournament on the part of Nigeria and NCC was in line with the government’s desire to partner with the private sector to promote sporting activities in the country.
He also stressed that it is an opportunity to empower Nigerian youths to make a living and contribute their own quota towards national development.
The tournament which were taken to 12 different major cities of Nigeria; Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Ilorin, Onitsha, Jos, Ibadan, Ekiti and Owerri, had its first semifinal in Enugu and produced team Muller as the winner after defeating team Ndoma with 5-2 aggregate.
Another round of semifinal will be in Abuja by December to produce the team that would play the final with team Muller in Lagos.