Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotmi Akeredolu, SAN, has described the annual Summer Tennis Clinic for Children between age four and 18 in the state as a veritable source of talents discovery for development.
Governor Akeredolu said this while declaring open the third edition of the State Summer Tennis Clinic for school children between age four and 18, an initiative of his wife, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, held at the Tennis court of the state’s sport stadium today.
Represented by the Commissioner for Youths and Sports development, Barr. Dotun Owanikin, Governor Akeredolu affirmed that Ondo state is blessed with talents that could take her name to a greater height if identified, nurtured and given the right training and exposure.
He expressed optimism that the clinic would produce award-winning players that would represent the state in the nearest future.
He added that the clinic would also create conducive atmosphere of permanent friendship, peace and love among the participants.
According to him, the Tennis clinic as a citizen-driven initiative is a demonstration of love and passion for the development of the young ones and, therefore commended the initiator and the sponsors for creating a platform to build the interest of the young ones in sports.
“I believe the young ones that will be discovered through this clinic will explore the Tennis career to the peak and win medals for the state in national and international sporting competitions.
“I encourage you not to rest on your oars because this is one of the ways through which private individuals and organisations can collaborate with the government in the development of the land and the people”, he said.
In her remarks, the initiator, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu noted that the aim of the SummerTennis clinic was to lay a foundation through which future heavy-weight lifters and champions would emerged from the state.
Mrs. Akeredolu who affirmed that the clinic is citizens-driven emphasised the need why well-meaning citizens should support the mission, saying the initiative is a good way of engaging children during Summer.
She enjoined individuals and organisations to inculcate the spirit of community service in their hearts by supporting initiatives like this for the development of the young ones.
According to her, the number of the participating children keeps increasing every year, noting that it indicates that parents and guardians appreciate the initiative.
Mrs. Akeredolu called for the sustainability of the programme beyond the tenure of the current administration, for the betterment of the state.
She noted that those who would be discovered from the clinic, would be absorbed into Arabinrin Junior Tennis club, where they would be trained further to gain national and international recognition.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Planning Committee of the 2019 Clinic, Alhaji Tajudeen Akinyemi had stated that the programme started in 2017 with 272 children, 433 in 2018, and a 500 target this year, indicating a significant increase.
He thanked the donors and sponsors while calling on more parents to come and register their children, noting that there is machinery to accommodate many participants.
The clinic which was organised by the Office of the wife of Ondo state governor in collaboration with the State Sport Council, has Chief P. C Ezekwere, Cecil Supermarket, Peaches Cakes and Creams, Chief Emmanuel Ejiofor, Teniola Famoroju foundation, among others as Donors and Sponsors.
Some of the last year participants displayed their skill in Tennis game, and guests were stunned by their excellent performance.
The clinic which commences today August 27th, will hold till September 6th, 2019.