‘Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis Is Nigeria’s Biggest Tourist Attraction’
• USA, Germany, Pakistan Players In Town, As Tourney Begins
As the 15th Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis Championship serves off today, President of Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Engr. Sani Ndanusa, has declared that the championship is the biggest tourism attraction in Nigeria.
Players from the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Pakistan and South Africa are among those already in Lagos for the championship. The 15th Governor’s Cup will serve off today and run till December 19 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
Among the first set of players to arrive Lagos on Thursday were Alexandra Riley of the United States, Germany- based Andiyo Inwang and Pakistan trio of Suhail Ushna, Ashiq Munir and Pal Sabrin. Others flew in yesterday.
Speaking with The Guardian on the impact of the Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis Championship to the development of the game in Nigeria, Ndanusa, a former minister of sports, said it had added value to the city of Lagos as a public relations platform to launder the image of the ‘Centre of Excellence’ and Nigeria in general to the outside world in the last 15 years.
The Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis Championship is an International Tennis Federation (ITF) sanctioned Pro Circuit.
Ndanusa said: “The Governor’s Cup started with friends of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the private sector. “I’m happy that successive governments in Lagos; from Tinubu to Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and now Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, saw the need to sustain the tournament.
“The Governor’s Cup has been a good platform to boost the tourism of Lagos and with the coming of players from more than 30 countries every years, this has expose the state the more to outside world than any other event in the country.
“We at the NTF are very happy that we can continue to count the gains of Governor Cup Tennis as it has improved over the years and grown to contribute to the development of tennis in particular and indeed sporting activities in Nigeria. This championship has also assisted our players’ need to improve their ranking in the world,” he said.
Ndanusa, who was former minister of Sports, called on lovers of tennis both individuals and corporate to assist in the development of the game by join hands in the sponsorship of Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis.
Meanwhile, the Tournament Director, Prince Oladunjoye, has disclosed that more players, especially those for the Main Draw, would fly in tomorrow (Sunday), just as he confirmed that everything needed to make the championship hitch-free have been put in place. A total prize money of $80,000 awaits winners in the championship.
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