The Nigerian Team to the African Junior Championship 12 & Under qualifying event in Cotonou arrived the West African city on Sunday and settled in the training camp organized by the Confederation of the African Tennis at the Tennis Club de l’Amitié in Kouhounou. The training will last for two days, before the tournament serves off on Wednesday, 6th March through to the 10th.

Training began today, Monday at 8:30am, with the players having two sessions (1st at 8:30am and 2nd at 3:00pm). The players had drills on serves, volleys, approach shots, smash, and normal rallies (down the lines and cross-court) to enable them gain consistency when hitting balls, and then ended the day’s session with the body stretch to avoid injuries.

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The players and coach, Abdulmumin Babalola, during training.

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Tuesday’s session will start by 9:00am and end by noon, after which the players will head back to the hotel to rest before the tourney begins on Wednesday.

Salamatu Haruna, Niniola Ajulo, and Imole Afolabi make up the girls’ category, while Seun Ogunshakin from Ekiti State, FCT’s Idris Mohammed, and Rivers’s Precious Ikeuba lead the charge in the boys’ category.

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The Coach, Abdulmumuni Babalola speaking to the players about becoming a champion just before dinner. “You have to be confident and focused,” he said. “Forget lost points (especially the easy ones that happened as a mistake). Just make sure continue hitting the balls inside the court.”

This tournament in Cotonou is a qualifying event for the African Junior Finals for 12 & Under, which will take place in Morocco in September.