By Etuka Sunday
President/CE, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote’s contribution to sports development has enhanced the Dala Hard court Championships in Kano to maintain its status as the only national Tennis championship in the region.
The Conglomerate, Dangote Group earned a Certificate of Appreciation for the committment during the closing ceremony of the championships which commenced from the 17th to 25th November, at the Kano Club.
The most outstanding players of the tournament were presented with trophies in different categories.
The first Director, Nigeria Military Intelligence Agency, Rtd. Gen. Halilu Akuli, while presenting trophies to some players in the Men’s Double Runners up, John Otu Thomas and Uyorobe Joseph at the 31st Championship, said Dangote’s unflinching support made the Tennis game to wax stronger and record yet, another success story.
The Doubles Event 2017, trophies were won by Babalola Abdul and Shehu Lawal while for the third time running, Samuel Blessing clinched the Ladies Singles Champion trophy presented by representative of Dangote, Mr. Murtala Jinadu.
Chairman, organising committee of Dala hard court, Mr. Bashar Mohammed Gumel during the event said aside Dangote, other sponsors, namely, First Bank, Fidelity Bank, Unipetrol and individuals with passion for Tennis, like Isiyaku Umar Tofa, Maikano Umar, Ifedayo Akindoju, Yusuf Datti have contributed to the noble cause and meaningfully engaged the youth to keep them off the streets.
He said their effort led to smooth administration of the game, providing opportunity to accomodate the national officials and players for the preliminaries and main draw as well as their feeding allowances. It also enhanced standard of performance of the players leading to rapid growth of the game.
The director, organising committee of the Championship, Yusuf Datti, said the tournament started since 1988 with various sponsors making the game memorable.
“This year, Dangote is lead sponsor of the tournament with the sum of N10m, a large part of our budget of N17.6m and for us it is a huge effort to tackle our challenges and get good result.
“Dangote was also a saving grace during our outing in 2016. As lead sponsor, he helps Kano state to retain its hosting right “.
In his goodwill message, President, Nigeria Tennis Federation of Nigeria, (NTF), Engr. Ifedayo Akindolu, said plans are in top gear to introduce the Junior’s category next year and propel them to stardom.