Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State has been given a Long and Outstanding Contribution Award by the Confederation of African Tennis, CAT.
The award was given to him for sustaining and supporting the staging of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship since assuming office in May 2007.
The award ceremony took place on Friday, 13 April, at the French Restaurant, Al-Solaimaneyah Golf Resort & Spa Hotel, 70km from Cairo Airport in Egypt during the Annual General Assembly of CAT. The event took place shortly after the just concluded African Junior Championship, AJC.
Although Governor Fashola was not there to receive the award, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, the Tournament Director of the Governor’s Cup received the award on his behalf.
While presenting the award, President of CAT, Tarak Cherif, applauded the contribution of Fashola to the development of tennis in Africa through the Governor’s Cup.
The Lagos circuit is a tournament, which emerging tennis stars across the world always look forward to every year since it became an International Tennis Federation, ITF event in 2003 when the dollar prize money was increased to improve its standard and participation status.
“CAT is honouring the Lagos State Governor for consistently supporting the organisation of the Governor’s Cup. The championship has received the backing of friends and individuals, while corporate bodies joined the tourney in 2000 during the tenure of Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom we also deservedly honoured in 2006”, said Cherif.
Before the award was given, President of Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF, Engr. Sani Ndanusa, who is also the President of Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, read the citation preceding the award presentation.
He traced the life of Fashola from his days at the University of Benin, when he was a member of the school’s soccer team. He was a tennis and squash champion, the games he still plays regularly to keep fit. He graduated with LLB honours as a Barrister in the University.
Ndanusa also mentioned that Fashola became the Chief of Staff to former Governor Tinubu in 2002, and he was appointed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN in 2005 before he was elected Governor in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.
The former Minister of Sports concluded his citation with special tributes to Governor Fashola’s contributions to the development of tennis in Nigeria and indeed Africa.