NTF to use ‘Fu­lani Boys’ tem­plate for de­vel­op­ment

Daily Trust - - SPORT - From Ya­haya Ibrahim, Lagos

The Nige­ria Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (NTF) says it will now em­brace the ‘Fu­lani Boys’ tem­plate as part of its de­vel­op­men­tal pro­grammes.

This fol­lows the im­pres­sive per­for­mances of the trio Musa Sanni, Aliyu Sanni and Saminu Abubakar at the just-con­cluded SNEPCO Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship in Lagos where Musa and Saminu caused se­ries of upsets to reach the fi­nal which was won by the lat­ter in the Boys 14 & un­der cat­e­gory.

NTF boss, Sani Ndanusa, who was rep­re­sented by the fed­er­a­tion’s scribe, Glo­ria Ek­wempu-Chin­woko, urged gov­ern­ment to cre­ate Com­mu­nity Sports Cen­tres across the coun­try, which he pointed out will help iden­tify and nur­ture tal­ents in sports.

Coach Ba­batunde Abe, a coach with over 25 years train­ing skills in the US, who has been nur­tur­ing the boys in Abuja, said he was sat­is­fied that the ex­per­i­ment has paid off with the ex­cel­lent per­for­mance of the boys in a high pro­file com­pe­ti­tion.

“We came for the tour­na­ment just to see how they will cope play­ing un­der pres­sure but they sur­prised ev­ery­one with their style of play,” Abe said.

Abe dis­closed that it’s barely four months that he has been train­ing with the kids at the Abuja Na­tional Sta­dium and they have im­proved rapidly un­der his watch. “The boy that Saminu de­feated in the semi­fi­nal has been dom­i­nat­ing the cat­e­gory for some time but you see the way that he was beaten.”

He added: “Th­ese kids can do won­ders with their rac­quets and they will rule Nige­rian and African ten­nis at the rate of their pro­gres­sion. The only fault about their game is their slow move­ment which is will now be worked on.”

Di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Academy, God­win Kienka, con­fessed that the per­for­mance of the ‘Al­ma­jiri’ boys, as they are fondly called, makes him mar­vel go­ing by the way they came into ten­nis as well as their steady progress.

“This is what suc­cess story is all about; from be­ing idle to be­com­ing ball boys and then to move to school and now dom­i­nat­ing the courts, one couldn’t have ask for more from the Nige­ria Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion, who opened the ten­nis fa­cil­i­ties at the Abuja sta­dium for vir­tu­ally ev­ery mem­ber of the pub­lic. It shows that if we pull to­gether we will achieve re­sults,” Kienka said.

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