The 11th Kaduna Clay Court National Junior Tennis Championship will hold in Kaduna, this week from November 23 — 29. Kaduna State Tennis Association is trying to revive the tournament, which was first staged in 1978, with the help of a new sponsor, Anchor Dataware Solutions.
This is the first time the tournament is holding in over 10 years, and while most things remain the same as before, the organizers have assured that strict post covid protocols laid down by both the NTF and ITF will be followed.
Ahead of the Monday draw, the Tournament Director, Coach Ubale Mohammed has revealed that over 100 players from 18 states have been registered, which exceeds their expectations for the tournament.
“So far we have 18 states that are registered for the tournaments. The 18 states are Niger, Oyo, Ekiti, Taraba, FCT, Adamawa, Benue, Nassarawa, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Delta, Kano, Plateau, Kogi, Lagos, Niger and Jigawa.
“We have over 100 players for all the four categories which is beyond our expectations. In the draws for the 14 and Under, we are going to be having a draw of 64 even after we were expecting a draw of 16 or maximum 32. For the other categories, we will find a way to contain it at 32.”
“At the moment, Adamawa, Benue, Nassarawa and some other states are already here,” Coach Mohammed said about the current state of preparation for the tournament.
“Since we are using clay, I think its only Kaduna, Lagos, Oyo and Kano that have clay courts, so most states are here so they can familiarize with the courts.”
“The courts are ready, they’ve been practicing on it and every other facility is ready for the start of the tournament,” he added.
He also revealed that the sponsor(Anchor Dataware Solutions) alongside Kaduna State Tennis Association has made provisions for various incentives for the excellent performers (winners and runner-ups) in the tournament.
“We will give them rackets, tennis bags, tennis wears, grips, tennis balls and so on. We also have trophies and medals for them too. Some of the winners will be incorporated into our academy, so that during the holidays they can come to Kaduna and train.”
“In the nearest future, we are going to be traveling with the best players to Holland. We presently have an MOU with an Academy in Holland.”
The junior clay-court tournament will be played between November 23 and 29 at the Kaduna Club, Kaduna.
All Coaches and Players are expected to arrive Today, while matches commences Tomorrow, with the tournament finals/closing ceremony scheduled for Saturday, before players finally depart to their respective states on Sunday.