In keeping with its resolve to continue to discover fresh Tennis talents for the country, leading banking giant, Zenith Bank has concluded plans to kickoff the 2018 Junior Tennis Masters in Lagos from second of next month.
The bank said time has come to discover the next generation of players to take over from the likes of Mumuni Babalola and Clifford Enosorogbe who are dominating tennis at the senior level.
Billed for the National Stadium, the tournament coming under the auspices of the International Tennis Academy will feature the best eight boys and girls in the Under 18 category.
A statement from the organizers said “The Next Generation Masters is designed to identify the best players who are transiting from the juniors to seniors and challenge them to upstage the seniors and go on to the international professional circuit as quickly as possible”.
“It will also help to prepare them for the senior tournaments including the NCC Tennis League which is expected to start in the second quarter of the year. The boys invited for the Next Generation Masters are: Godgift Timibra, Michael Osewa, Stephen Augustine, Christopher Itodo, Tochukwu Ezeh, Abayomi Philip, Emmanuel Jebutu and Michael Ayoola. Two players – Michael Abamu and David Dawariye – will attend as alternates.
“The girls’ thorny will feature Toyin Asogba, Oyin Quadri, Fortune Aniso, Omolade Aderemi, Omolayo Bamidele, Favour Moses, Mariam Alli- Balogun and Rebecca Ekpeyong. Timipre Maxwell and Oiza Yakubu will also attend as alternates. Junior tennis in Nigeria is developing very rapidly and showing tremendous prospects. Nigeria presently dominates the West African region and is pulling her weight on the continent and beyond.
Business Hilights recalls that three junior players – Marylove Edwards, Angel Mcleod and Chris Bulus left for the USA this year to study and pursue tennis careers. Edwards, the 14 and under champion before she left, got to the finals of the CBN Senior Championships last year and is now at the famous Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.
The Managing Director & CEO of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo, said “the bank has been following the progress of junior tennis players in Nigeria and hopes that the Junior Masters will fast track the process of producing world class players in the nearest future.”
Zenith Bank towards the end of last year bankrolled the Zenith Bank’s Women Basketball League in Lagos as part of its sports development policy.