Ahead of the Kaduna state Nocaco U16 Clay Court Tennis Championship, which kicks off Monday in Kaduna, the hosting venue, Kaduna Club is wearing a new look.
The Club’s tennis complex was resplendent in colourful outlook, the six tennis clay courts were swept, cleaned and tidied up, with new nets waiting to be affixed. The spectator’s stands were wearing new paint ready to host spectators.
The developmental tournament will be played on round robin basis with matches scheduled for 9am to 12pm in the morning session and 3pm to 6pm for the afternoon session for the weeklong duration of the tournament. Banners heralding the competition have been placed in strategic places with everything set waiting for the commencement of matches.
The tournament, which aimed at discovering budding talents and developing them to stardom, intends to revive the game of tennis in Kaduna and reclaim the state’s lost glory in clay court tennis, the state Commissioner for Sports Development, Professor Kabir Mato said.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Media, Alhaji Ismaila Umaru Lere, the Commissioner said that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has given the ministry a marching order to revive and develop sports in the state.
“The new ministry is to drive and revive sports in the state. Competition is to commence at the Kaduna Club, we are helping the club to refurbish the six tennis courts. This is first time we are hosting tennis since the National Sports Festival (NSF) about 10 years ago.
“Kaduna used to be the centre of clay court tournament. In the 70s Kaduna used to host clay court it is sad it has gone moribund over the two decades. In reviving it, the government has decided to target the grassroots. We have received forms for 40 entries of those under 16,” he said, adding that those above 16 may be allowed to play non competitively.