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ENIC AT 25: Austin Agbaje’s idea beyond dreams of every oridnary sportsman – Azie hails founder


In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the ENIC Tennis Championship East of the Niger, one of its founding members,

Sir Chukwuemeka Azia has hailed the founder, Austin Agbaje, Wakawaka Sports Extra reports.

According to Azie, the regional tournament of Tennis Clubs in the South-East and South South region East of the Niger, has been sustained over the years through Club get togethers and teams relating with each other.

Azie described the founder as an exceptional human being whose idea has lasted the test of the times, while calling for this idea to be pushed further to other sports.

His words: “I would say kudos to our founding fathers in the person of Chief Babatunde Austin Agbaje who was an expectional sportsman while we were in Aba many years ago, whose idea started from scratch to finish and that was in the year 1997/1998.

“Austin was a very exceptional human being in sports and professionally and the idea he propounded for the birth of ENIC was to a large extent very difficult for some of us to understand because he was exceptional and this has been proven because the idea has stood the test of the time.

He told,www.Silvernews.com.ng that is on record that Austin Agbaje’s idea went beyond the dreams of every ordinary sportsman. He went up to say we need to set up a regional tournament that will replicate the football league where good players will come and teach people how to play tennis and nurture the youths.

“He said he wouldn’t like it (ENIC) to fail the way other regionally tournaments failed. He needed that these clubs be registered clubs East of the Niger and that is what we are seeing today. A regional tournament where the nine states within the South-East / South-South regions get together, convivial, relate and enjoy the game of tennis.

“This is what has sustained ENIC over the past 25 years. We need to remember this; that the idea of Austin needs to be pushed further to other sports.

“It has grown to a reasonable extent. Yes the sponsorships are still coming in trickles but we want to give kudos to our sponsors CUTIX PLC in Nnewi. The company has stood by us for 25 years and created a record for the longest sports sponsorship in the country.”

He also paid tribute to Dr Kachi Nwoga for the idea of the ENIC Super Four extravaganza which has turned ENIC around and helped in bringing out the best in club tennis in the region. I must proudly acknowledge that the super 4 finals format has taken ENIC to a new level, making it a media event and opening doors to new sponsorships – thanks to Dr Kachi Nwoga and the management of ENIC at the time 5yrs ago led by Chief Kingsley Udu.

“A lot of clubs have gone through thick and thin but ENIC is still waxing strong and we know that better days are ahead for ENIC.”

It will be recalled the Emeka Azie himself a Trustee of ENIC was a major contributor alongside Austin Agbaje in birthing the ENIC tournament, as well as served as the 1st organising committee chairman that implemented the super 4 finals tournament. He is an ardent player of tennis and has played in almost all the ENIC tournaments himself.


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