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Thursday, December 8, 2022

5th Summer Tennis Clinic dunks off in Akure

By Maria Famakinwa

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The wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu has kicked off 5th edition of the 2022 Summer Tennis Clinic at the Central Senatorial District for children between ages 4-13 at the Recreation Club, Oke -Eda.

The Summer Tennis Clinic which was the fifth of its kind in the State has been decentralised among the three Senatorial District in the State in order to allow for more participation and talents discovery.

Mrs. Anyanwu-Akeredolu  called on parents to support their children by providing needed sporting tools for them, adding that the summer tennis training is a grooming ground to discover and sustain talents.

Her words: “That we successfully took this opportunity to our children in the hinterlands, is, for me, a dream come true; and, I must say that I feel very satisfied with the reports of the outings. From the warm welcome at Owo and Okitipupa, the impressive turnout at the inauguration, to the passionate participation of children and the brilliant inputs of our resource persons, I feel altogether proud of this collective achievement.

Mrs. Akeredolu who observed that the initiative conceived in 2017 has already produced professional athletes added that the Summer Tennis Clinic will continue to lay the foundation for the discovery of talents. “This is a telling testimony to the fact that the summer tennis clinic is steadily increasing in leaps and bounds, and this is a big plus for our dear state.

Already, about 25 of these children have since excelled as professionals and proud representatives of Ondo State at regional, national and international levels. Since inception, they had participated in at least 15 tournaments at various competitions, including Chevron Opened Champions, SouthWest U-16 tournament, Kayode Fayemi U-17, Kanuna Clay Cut Junior Championship.

“Fourteen-year old Olamilekan Moses joined in 2018 as a greenhorn and participated in a SouthWest tournament in the same year and reached quarter-final. Moses also got to semi-final at the CBN tournament in 2020, out of 16 states. Henry Anu participated in a South-West competition up to the semi-final level; Hadiza Imole reached semi-final in zone’s junior tennis tournament.

“I therefore harbour no doubt whatsoever that these kids will prove equally smart and produce even greater results than we have recorded from previous encounters. To this extent, the parents have critical roles to play in helping these talents to attain full potential and achieve their dreams, and I therefore charge them to be the first- level coaches for their kids.”

In her welcome address, the Chairperson of 2022 Summer Tennis Clinic, Mrs Olamide Falana, described the event as one of the great initiative of the First Lady whose innovation she said has touched lives of Ondo citizens.

She said: “The summer tennis clinic since inception in 2017 has changed the lives of some of the young participants who have gained a sense of belonging, confidence and dreams of traveling to the world playing champions and they have served as scorecards of past editions. The most recent scorecard is that of Henry Aina and Gbolahan Olawale discovered during the 2017 Summer Tennis Clinic.”

She appealed to parents to support their children’s passion for sport by buying them rackets and balls and urged the political leaders especially at the local government to build tennis courts which will not only help the children to practice but to also help adults have a form of recreation and sports which is important for longevity.

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