Former Sports Minister and President of Nigeria Tennis Federation, Sani Ndanusa, has described the annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship as a big boost to the tourism potentials of the host state, Lagos and more importantly a good advertisement for Tennis in Nigeria.
Mr. Ndanusa made the remarks at a press conference in Lagos even as the 15th Governor’s Cup is set to hold from December 5 -19 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
According to the former Nigerian Sports Minister, the International Tennis Federation sanctioned Pro Circuit has added value to the city of Lagos as a public relations platform to launder the image of the ‘Centre of Excellence’ to the world in the last 15 years, which the competition has been annually staged.
“The Governor’s Cup started with friends of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the private sector and I’m happy that successive governments in Lagos; from Tinubu to Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and now Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, saw the need to sustain the staging of the tournament.
“The Governor’s Cup has been a good platform to boost the tourism of Lagos and with the coming of players from more than 30 countries every years, this has expose the state the more to outside world than any other event in the country.
“We at the NTF are very much happy that we can continue to count the gains of Governor Cup Tennis as it has improved over the years and grown to contribute to the development to the development of tennis in particular and indeed sporting activities in Nigeria generally. This championship has also assisted our players’ need to improve their ranking in the world,” he said.
Mr. Ndanusa, however, called on lovers of tennis both individuals and corporate bodies to assist in the development of the game by joining hands in the sponsorship of Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis.
The qualifying matches of the first leg of the competition (Futures 3) will be played between Saturday and Sunday, while the Main Draws of both the Men’s and Women’s Singles serve off on Monday. The Doubles in the men and women categories begin on Tuesday.
First leg ends on Saturday, December 12 to give way for the commencement of the second leg (Futures 4) with the grand finale taking place on Saturday, December 19.
According to the Local Organising Committee (LOC), a Junior Tennis Workshop and Tournament for boys and girls aged below 14 years will hold for four days in between the competition from 16, 17, 18 and 19 December.
“The LOC encourages parents and guardians to enter their wards and children for this laudable development initiative,” organisers say.
A total sum of $80,000 is at stake in the two weeks event with the men’s winner taking $30,000, while the women’s take home $50,000.
Players will also fight for international ranking points in the championship which will be declared closed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at an elaborate final ceremony