From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Tennis players participating in the 43rd edition of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) National Senior Tennis Championship will smile to the bank with a whopping N13.1 million prize money.
The week-long championship, which kicks-off on Friday, will hold at the Abuja Tennis Centre, Package B of the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Engr Tayo Akindoju, who made the disclosure at a press briefing held in Abuja on Thursday, said that this year’s edition is a complete departure from the previous ones.
‘The CBN National Senior Open Tennis Championship is the biggest Championships with the highest prize monies of any organise sporting programme in Nigeria today,’ he said.
‘The 43rd edition of the Championship is special one as the Prize Monies for both the Men and Women Singles position has been increased from the previous edition from N700,000 to N1,000,000 for each winners.
‘As a matter of emphasizes the continued sponsorship of this championship by the Central Bank of Nigeria for over 41 years has helped the federation to develop and empower many players who had won Cash Prizes each year at the championship.’
Speaking further, he noted: ‘This championship has helped in active engagement of our youth gainfully for career purposes and also propelled the federation to an envious position amongst sports federations’ in Nigeria.
‘Today in Tennis, CBN championship is the only championship that all the players want to play and what this mean is that many of this player prepare ahead without distraction of engaging in socio vices that could stop them from participation.
‘Let be on record today, that CBN remains the only government agency with highest commitments for sponsorship of sporting programmes despite economic challenges facing the sports industry in Nigeria.
‘Permit me to expresses our profound appreciation to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and his management staff for continued sponsorship of this championship for many decades,’ he said.
While men singles will get N4.7 million of the prize reward, men doubles will get N1.34 million, ladies singles will win 3.1 million, ladies doubles, N1.35 million, wheelchair men’s singles and ladies singles will be awarded N1.5 million, totaling N13.1 million in prize money.