The Play Your Age National Junior Tennis Championships got underway at the National Tennis Centre in Abuja on Thursday, with state teams from Delta, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Kano, Enugu, Plateau, Benue, Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, Niger, Baysela, & FCT all available.
The tournament features boys and girls in different age categories- Under 10, Under 12 and Under 14.
The Play Your Age Championships will be used to establish National Junior Rankings, so as to ascertain the best players in every age category. A national junior ranking ensures that the best players are chosen for age grade tournaments, and eliminates the chances of favouritism during selection. The Play Your Age championship will be the first-ever national junior event to be used for a junior ranking.
The tournament will be in knockout format, and will employ back draws. The back draw system allows players who have been knocked out to keep playing for positions till the final position is known, as it is with CAT individual tournaments.
The kids are excited about opportunity to play, and every participant presented a copy of their birth certificates on arrival to confirm their ages.
The tournament is being sponsored by Mr. Edmond Ajoge, who also sponsors the Tombim Abuja Open, and the NTF President, Engr. Dayo Akindoju, who bankrolls the Dayak Tennis Championship.
Hospitality and welfare are being taken care of daily for the 95 players present.
Play began on Thursday, with the Under 10 Boys and Girls, and Boys Under-12 in action. The Girls Under 12 and 14 categories, as well as the Boys Under 14 will join in on the action on Friday.
Matches are live from the National Tennis Centre, Abuja, from 10:00am. The final will be held on Sunday, 21 April.