By Maria Famakinwa
The First Lady of Ondo State, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has flagged off the fifth edition of the State Summer Tennis Clinic at the North Senatorial Zone of the State.
Speaking at the event, which took place at Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, the First Lady said that the administration of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has on countless occasions proven that it cares through various programmes and initiatives.
She thanked the citizens of the State for their cooperation, noting that the success of the programmes would not have been possible without their input.
“I want to appreciate all and sundry because you have really demonstrated that government cannot do it all alone, we really need to come together and do it for the children.”
The First Lady urged parents to encourage their children to explore their talents to harness their potential.
Appreciating all present, she noted that a foundation has been laid through tennis which requires the efforts of all to nurture it.
The Chairman of the occasion Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, lauded Arabinrin Akeredolu’s contributions in the State.
His words : “As part of her desire to see Ondo State become a Tennis hub in Nigeria, Arabinrin established the Summer Tennis Clinic to nurture and promote young talents who can be the Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic of Africa,” he said.
He said: “The summer tennis clinic has made stars of Olamilekan, who participated in the summer clinic in 2018 and was the best under 16 in the South-West, Nigeria and others like Peace Agbeje, who competed in the CBN Championship and reached the semi-final, Henry Aina who got the semi-final of the Chevron Junior Tennis Championship.
We are proud of these young ones, and the future holds bright promises for them.”
Earlier in her welcome address, Chairperson of the 2022 Organising Committee of the 5th Edition, Special Adviser on Gender, Mrs Olamide Falana noted that the Tennis Clinic is another initiative of Arabinrin Akeredolu to impact positively on the lives of average citizens.
“It is a wonderful initiative of Her Excellency to discover talents and keep the young ones productively busy during the summer long vacation. Another objective of this initiative is to open the minds of our young ones to the endless possibilities in the world of sports. Sports is beyond a hobby, it is a way of life and a way of earning livelihood.”
Falana said that the annual tennis clinic is already bringing huge benefits with past participants representing Ondo State at national tournaments.