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Kienka urges youth tennis programmes

Kienka said in Lagos at the final of the fourth edition of the competition that more youth programmes were required for their exposure. “These are…

Kienka said in Lagos at the final of the fourth edition of the competition that more youth programmes were required for their exposure.

“These are the future tennis champions in the country and indeed the continent. The standard here was very high; there were about four upsets during the championships.

“This portends a bright future for the game.  But for any meaningful developmental sports programme there must be sustainable youth programmes to discover and nurture the athletes,’’ Kienka said.

He urged the National Sports Commission to stop paying lip service to sports development.

“The government and the corporate bodies are not doing enough for our sports development. Youth development is where the future lies.

“If we don’t get it right at the junior level, we can’t get it right at the senior level,’’ Kienka said.

Meanwhile, Daniel Odey of Co-Foundation Tennis Academy, Kaduna, won the boys U-18 category by beating Kabiru Abdulmalik of Benue 9-4.

Abdulmalik had earlier won the U-16 category, defeating Olaniyi Olatunji of Lagos State 9-6.

Abdulmalik, who would have been awarded a N100,000 scholarship grant if he had won the two categories, told NAN that losing the U-18 was painful.

“I am very disappointed that I lost the U-18 title; I did my best but I lost to a better player. Winning both U-18 and U-16 categories could have won me a scholarship.

 “But winning the U-16 and coming second in U-18 is not a bad performance. I believe next year will be better for me,’’ Abdulmalik said.

Sylvester Emmanuel beat Yakubu Shedrack 9-6 to win the U-14 category.

Emmanuel could have made it a double but he lost to Michael Michael 9-3 in the U-12 category.

A total of 192 junior players participated in the championships.


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