Ahead of ITF expert Illou Lonfo’s scheduled visit to Nigeria from March 10- 16, Nigeria Tennis Federation President, Ifedayo Akindoju, has expressed confidence that the visit would be profitable for the country, adding that the country deserves nothing less.
Ivorian Lonfo, would be visiting the country in a bid to assess the development of the sport and help improve certain areas such as coaching and the NTF president is in high mood with the expectation that the country will get the nod for an ITF High Performance Center in Abuja.
He stated: “A High Performance Centre will help young tennis players in Nigeria reach their full potentials both as aspiring tennis players and in their academic pursuits.
“It will also enable the young players to participate and excel in local and international junior events, as well as give them opportunities to get scholarships outside the country and possibly play full-time professionally.’’
Lonfo, the ITF representative at the on-going African Junior Finals qualifiers in Cotonou, was once a coach at an ITF Centre in Senegal and was also in charge of the High Performance Centre in Morocco.
The 45-year-old would meet with tennis coaches in Nigeria, and will assess the Coach Education Programme in the country. The ITF Coach Education Programme seeks to help national associations create their own coach education programme so that they can become self-sufficient in this area and generally improve the level of tennis coaching around the world.
Aside meeting with the coaches, Lonfo will also meet with other partners of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, including the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Sports Council, and sponsors of tennis in Nigeria.
He will also have a session with the top juniors in the country.
For year, Nigeria has pushed ceaselessly for a High Performance Centre without success.