Badminton board chair urges all to sponsor tourney
By Femi Atolagbe
The Chairman of Ondo State Badminton Association Board, Mr Olu Adekunle Ajanaku has urged private individuals, corporate bodies in the state and beyond to sponsor tournaments as part of their corporate social responsibilities in order to discover new talents from the grassroots.
Ajanaku, who stated this during an event put together by the association tagged; varieties evening for Badminton Development in Ondo state, held at the indoor hall of the state Sports complex, Akure, said he is ready to introduce two tournaments in the state.
According to him, the first tournament is Lisa Kaffi annual tournament, for every December in memory of the great Olisa Amudipe, who was the longest reigning Lisa in Akure Kingdom 1915 – 1955.
The second will be ‘Ilefunta’ annual tournament every July – August to support our Paramount ruler, His Imperial Majesty Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade (Odundun 111), who has continued to make giant strides in promoting Akure cultural values.
The chairman added “that when his board was inaugurated in March 2019,first thing they did was the holistic review of the Badminton, we took note of the previous achievements of the athletes and their coaches .
We discovered that the existing athletes are grossly under kitted in terms of sports wears, rackets,shuttles and inadequate playing courts across the state, these daunting challenges required funding which is beyond the association to handle”.
That is why we put this varieties evening together to sensitize stakeholders and friends for support and to also partner with secondary schools for collaboration to discover talented players from the grassroots, motivate them, equip the existing athletes so that they can win more laurels for Ondo state.
He stressed further that they intend to achieve all these by building courts at strategic locations across the state where interested students could come and practice while Auxiliary coaches will also be recruited at the various zone to assist them.
Ondo state Badminton coach,Olalehin Tunmise while speaking to newsmen thanked God for the success of the event, saying the purpose of this event was to continue to nurture and produce more young players from the state .
Tunmise said “with the support of the eminents Nigerian here present it will help and motivate for us to push our junior players at the national to Senior level.
He said Badminton is facing a lot of challenges in the state and at the national level, because the game is one of the expensive sports in the world, saying the equipment and their facilities is not what government can fund alone.
He therefore thanked the association’s board led by Mr Olu Adekunle Ajanaku for their immeasurable support for the game in the state.
He also pleaded for more support from private organisations and well to do in the society to join hands with government to develop sports in the state so that they can have more players to represent Nigeria at the international competitions.
Earlier ,the General Manager of the state Sports Council, Mr Wande Fabuluje appreciated the Badminton board for their lofty idea, urged other associations to take a cue from them.
The varieties evening was not without its side attraction with cultural troops entertaining the audience, novelty matches and many others.