In furtherance of its role of nurturing young tennis players from the grassroots, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMY&SD) is to partner United States- based AJ Tennis Academy to establish a world- class tennis academy in Abuja.
Speaking during a visit to the Sports Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare in his office, Director of A J Tennis Academy International based in Minneapolis, Tolu Olaleye, said he was excited by the prospect of partnering the FMY&SD to develop the next generation of tennis players as well as good citizens.
“Our plan is to develop the tennis academy as a business in partnership with domestic and foreign investors to ensure long- term survival and serve as a model for other sports.
“We are here to explore ways of gaining support for this initiative from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development,” observed Olaleye.
In his response, the Sports Minister Dare said: “Thanks for your faith in Nigeria. The timing of this initiative is very good and in consonance with our new sports industry policy which classifies sports as business.
“It also falls within the purview of our ‘Adopt-a-Sport initiative’. I fully support this initiative and will give whatever support needed to make it succeed,” stressed the minister.
Dare further advised the initiator to consider replicating the Academy in Ibadan, Lagos and Abeokuta to derive maximum benefits.
The pilot project is to be sited in Abuja for which an expanse of land has been allocated by the Federal Capital Development Authority.