VENUE: C.K GYAMFI SPORTS COLLEGE – TENNIS ACADEMY, WINNEBA
DATE: 24TH TO 30TH JNAURAY, 2011
TIME: 7:30 AM – 5:30PM DAILY
On day 1, the much anticipated African Junior Tennis Tourney was kick started by a catchy if not colourful opening ceremony on Monday 24th January, 2011 at the venue as captured above.
Special guest of honour was the GTA President, Mr. Amartei Emmanuel, who welcomed all 12 West and Central African Nations present for the Championships- Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Togo, Benin, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali, Liberia and DR Congo.
He further thanked the public as well as the financiers of the Championships coupled with the impressive donor support for staging the tournament; adding that more was required on the part of (key) stakeholders in the arena of sports administration so as to churn forth much needed human resource to hasten Africa’ development.
He was optimistic that the Championship was going to be a memorable; admitting that the countries participating in the championships will further strengthen the bonds of friendships that exist among them.
He advised the kids / participants (i.e. 14 and 16 Under players) to do their best as per the tutelage they every now and then get from the respective coaches in order to bring the very best from them.
He finally commended the Local Organising Committee for the Championships saying it posterity that will be the best assessors; thanking the public for being present. Mr Amartei then declared the Championships duly opened amdist pomp and pageantry that characterized the short but impressive opening ceremony for the 13TH ITF / CAT WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Day 1 witnessed a couple of matches which brought to bear what was in store for the rest of days for the tourney.
As scheduled close to 70 matches were duly cleared and top of the agenda was the stars in the maiking from nations like DR Congo, Nigeria, Mali and of course Ghana. Names like Sarah Adekoge(Nigeria), Umaro Balami(Nigeria), William Bushamuka(DR Congo), Djallo(Mali), Lizzy Kapari(Ghana) and Moses Armah(Ghana) are just but a few who are taking the ongoing Tennis Championships by storm.
Sports-wise these young lads on the tennis courts give Africa so much hope that it is not all lost yet when it comes to churning in out the next generation of sports stars/ icons for the continent.
On the aspect of lodging, feeding, medi-care (first aid), transport and recreational if not leisure spots-wise for the participating nations; I would have to say they have been somewhat well taken care of.
Officiating officials’ decisions have been spot on coupled with the manageable crowd if not the fan attendance we have witnessed for now. As per attendance by fans; I think it’s a humble beginning but we as a nation and as a continent can do more.
70 matches were cleared and was virtually the last lap for the round- robin stages of the Championships; since the rule is that;
· Two(2) players form a group of 4 are to advance to the quarter-final phase of the championships
· Three(3) players form a group of are to advance to the quarter-final phase of the championships
It is gradually becoming a very cagy if not unpredictable tournament so far; especially due to the impressive scores being registered by unknown nations like D.R Congo, Gabon and Mali.
Last year’s competition was honoured here at the same venue which virtually belonged to Ghana and Nigeria as they placed 1st and 2nd respectively after the 2010 ITF/CAT Championships but as I speak now the playing field i.e the courts have become level. Therefore, it give the room for upsets in the competition coupled with the difficulty in just sticking one’s neck out for any of the participating countries.
From hindsight, it’s seeming to be a Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast and DR Congo Tournament. The end truly justifies the means, so let keep our fingers crossed as we get into the knock out phase and eventually witness what unfolds on Saturday when 2011 CHAMPIONS will be outdoored if not declared.
So, such has been the story of the 13TH ITF / CAT WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS and will keep you updated in due course.
Bright K. Fugar
(0245 -072 761 )
LETS MAKE IT WORK FOR GHANA, AFRICA AND THE WORLD.
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