Sports take youths away from social vices- Mrs Akeredolu
By Maria Famakinwa
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has described sports as one of the veritable channels to take youths away from social vices and promote cordial relationship among them.
She said this at the Government House in Akure during the inauguration of the technical committee members of the third edition of Ondo State Summer Tennis Clinic which she is the facilitator.
Mrs Akeredolu while charging parents to register their children for the sporting programme explained that she fell in love with tennis sport while still dating her husband and when they got married, the family already known for playing lawn tennis which make her to replicate same when her husband become the Governor of the State. “Since we started in 2015, the number of participants keeps increasing, an indication that parents understand better that playing tennis encouraged interaction among children and promotes discipline among them. “
The First Lady revealed further that in order to sustain the interest of the game through constant practice among the participants, Arabinrin Junior Tennis Club joined members of Akure Recreation Club where the children go to practice during weekends. While assuring that this year’s edition of the programme will be unique added that she will continue to do her best to support the tennis game and work towards making the participants gain international recognition.
In his welcome address, the Committee Chairman, Otunba Tajudeen Akinyemi, who described Arabinrin Akeredolu as the best First Lady Ondo State ever had thanked her for her commitment towards sport development in the State and revealed that this year’s Summer Tennis Club is very important because aside targeting between 500-600 children, there is going to be branded vehicles to the effect. “Our children can become international stars, that is why I am calling on parents to seize this rare opportunity and register their children. We started in 2017 with 275 participants, last year, we registered about 379 and this year, we are targeting between 500 and 600 participants. It is an opportunity to make stars of our children.”
In the remarks of the Summer Tennis Club coach, Mr Philips Eguwa, explained that when they started two years ago many did not believe the club will succeed but since then, the tennis club have been growing. “Part of our success story was that two of our children between ages 12 and 14 are now recognized internationally. This year, we are planning to give participants certificates for future reference. So parents should key into this opportunity and registered their children.’
In his speech, Prince Wale Olagbegi commended the effort of the First Lady and revealed that the State has been benefiting immensely from Mrs Akeredolu’s initiative as he described tennis game as a game of all. “There is no age limit in tennis and with the commitment and passion put into the game by the Governor’s Wife, very soon, Ondo State will be producing international stars.”