The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu, today inaugurated members of the 2021 Ondo State Summer Tennis Club Committee, which is headed by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluwaseun Aiyedatiwa.
Ondo State Summer Tennis Clinic, initiated by the wife of the Governor in 2017, is an annual event aimed at grooming future champions and this year’s edition is the 4th of its kind.
At the ceremony held at the Government House Ground, Alagbaka, Akure, Mrs Akeredolu, while thanking the coordinator, Mr Seun Betiku, for the strong commitment over the years, said she is happy about the report that one of the trainees is now the best in the southwest.
Her Excellency, who noted that it behoves the community to sustain the vision by supporting it, further observed that the Summer Tennis Club has given meaning to lives and purposes to some children from broken homes.
While calling for supports from well-meaning Nigerians and other corporate bodies, Arabinrin Akeredolu said funding has remained a great challenge and that those who can donate items like rackets and balls to support the children will be appreciated.
“The challenge has remained funding. One could have thought getting children to participate will be a problem, but that is not so. Most of these kids are children from impoverished homes who are looking for avenues to excel. It is not all about money. You can gift us rackets and tennis ball which are all imported”, she added.
In his remarks, Coach Mayowa said the project, which started in 2017 with 380 children aged between 4-13 years, has recorded many success stories as some of the children selected for retraining have been winning tournaments across the federation.
“Some of our trainees made it to semi-finals, and currently, one of us is the best in the under-16 category in the southwest. As a result of this programme, the CBN Junior Tournament was brought down here”, he added, saying this year’s programme will again provide another opportunity for those who are willing to take advantage of it.
Earlier in his remark, the programme coordinator, Mr Seun Betiku, while commending Arabinrin Akeredolu for standing by the vision and supporting it through the years, charged members to put in their best to make this year’s programme a huge success.
Other members of the newly inaugurated committee include Mr Lanre Famakinwa as vice, Hon. Sunday Oladeji, Hon. Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, Hon. Folawe Sipasi Aluko, Sir Ogechukwu Emmanuel Odor, CEO Cecil, Mr Alex Uka, Special Assitant to Mr Governor on Special Duties, Mr Divine Ogbonnaya CEO Divine Sports Management, Mr Mayowa Sunday, Tennis Coach, Akure. Mr Philip Egbuwa, Tennis Coach Ibadan, Ms Tobi Fademi, Senior Special Assistant to Mr Governor on Media as members just as Mr Seun Betiku and Mrs Pamela Elekwachi are appointed as coordinator and Secretary respectively.
It would be recalled that Ondo State hosted world champions such as Nduka Odizor, Rolake Olagbegi as mentors during the first edition of the programme in the state.
Story Credit: Media Team, WoG