By Muhyideen Jimoh
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has earmarked 13.1million naira for this year’s National Senior Tennis Open Championship scheduled to hold in Abuja between May 20 and May 29.
The Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele represented by Osita Nwanisobi, Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, said this at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
He noted that the total prize money jumped to N13.1million following the increment of the star prize for the men and ladies singles.
Emefiele said that the prize money for the winner of both singles was increased to one million naira each from the initial N500,000 to encourage more young talents, saying the CBN is passionate about sports development in the country.
He explained that the categories to be competed for include, men singles, men doubles, ladies single, ladies doubles, wheelchair men’s and ladies singles.
The CBN governor said the objective of the annual tennis championship in its 43rd edition was to discover and groom young talents for the country for international competitions.
“The objective of the senior tennis championship is to create a platform for the discovery, harnessing and grooming young tennis talents.
“The championship has over the years also served as platform to take young talents off the streets and afford them opportunity to channel their energy and showcase their talent.
“Winners of this competition will represent the country at the Billie Jean and Davis Cup finals,” he said.
Earlier, Dayo Akindoju, Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) said the partnership with CBN had helped in discovering many tennis talents for the nation.
He expressed optimism that the championship would be more competitive this year because of the increase in prize money and the organisation of the competition.
“CBN decided to increase only the star prize and we as a federation don’t have any problem with that because it makes the players competitive.
“If you can win it, go for it. If you can play tennis and you can win it, go and take that star prize; that is the idea,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBN Senior Open has been in existence since 1979 and the 43rd edition will hold at tennis court of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja. (NAN)