BY OLUWATOSIN IGHOTEGUONO
The wife of the Ondo State, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has expressed readiness to continue to invest in the development of youths and sports as the goal is to make Ondo State a thriving hub for tennis in Nigeria.
Mrs Akeredolu stated this at the closing ceremony of the 6th edition of this year’s Tennis Clinic in Akure , Ondo State.
The First Lady, represented by the SSA on Gender, Research, and Documentation, Mrs. Tope Daniyan, said the remarkable event has no doubt provided a platform for children between the ages of 4 and 14 to embark on a journey of sports discovery and development.
She further highlighted the importance of introducing sports, specifically tennis, to young children, drew inspiration from legendary tennis players such as Serena and Venus Williams, Roger Federer, Billie Jean King, and Coco Gauff the 19-year-old new US OPEN tennis champion, emphasizing the transformative power of early sports education.
Expressing her deep gratitude, Mrs Akeredolu acknowledged the invaluable contributions of the coaches, trainers, and management committee members who dedicated their time and expertise to guide the young athletes.
The First Lady also recognized the unwavering support of the event’s sponsors, whose generosity played a crucial role in its success.
Chief Anyanwu-Akeredolu encouraged them to continue to support and foster an environment where their children’s talents can flourish, both in sports and in all areas of life.
In her remarks, the Chairman of the 2023 Management Committee, Mrs Olamide Falana, expressed her appreciation for the event’s growth over the years, noting that with more than 3,000 graduates since its inception, the clinic has proven to be a significant platform for talent development and empowerment.
The chairman of the occasion, Mr Olumuyiwa Adu who showered accolades on the organisers for making the programme to focus on capacity building, emphasized the vast potential and economic benefits of sports, not only for individuals but also for their families and society as a whole
In a goodwill message, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Dele Ologun urged young participants to maintain consistent practice and to nurture the skills they had acquired during the clinic.
He emphasized the significance of honing talents from an early age, highlighting the correlation between dedication and future success in sports and beyond.
The highlight of the event was the exhibition tennis matches between professionals and dignitaries. The 2023 participants also showcased their newly acquired tennis skills, presentation of certificates to the participants, marking the successful completion of the 6th edition of the Ondo State Summer Tennis Clinic.