It was an epoch-making event at the tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, as the Group Managing Director of Rain Oil Limited, Gabriel Ogbechie, announced N3.1million prize money for the inaugural Rain Oil Tennis Open which serves off today with the qualifiers.
The winner of the competition in the menâ€™s category will smile home with N500,000 while the women winner will be N300,000 richer at the end of hostilities at the LCC on Sunday, December 17.
Speaking during the press conference to announce the competition, Ogbechie said his passion for the game necessitated his company’s decision to invest in the Open.
“We need to encourage our young ones to take on the game of tennis,” he said.
“Not only will they earn a decent income for themselves, they will also be able to come back and invest such income into the game of tennis and sports in the country in the future.
“We hope to make it an annual event, a tournament that the countryâ€™s boys and girls will be looking forward to at the end of every year.
“Apart from the winner who will be going home with N500,000 and N300,000 in the men and women’s categories respectively, otherwise players will also be winning prize money.
“I can promise a healthy rivalry between the players as there will be such awareness aming them that anyone you lose to, will get twice as much as your prize money.”
The GMD further revealed that there was plan to make the competition an international event whereby professional tennis players across the world will be converging in the country to be part of the Rain Oil Tennis Open.
Speaking further, Ogbechie lamented the inability of Nigerian players to play at the Grand Slam.
According to him, lack of investment has contributed to the inability of the game to move forward in the country.
He called on other passionate individuals and organisations to invest in the sport in the country as such will engage more players and the younger ones.