The wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has described sport as one of the veritable channel to take youths away from social vices and promote cordial relationship among them.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu said this at the Government House, Alagbaka 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.
She enjoined parents to register their children for the sporting programme, noting that Tennis is a great game for the physical and mental well being of the young ones.
The First Lady added that her family is a tennis playing one and that is where her inspiration for the summer Tennis came from.
“Since we started in 2017, the number of participants keeps increasing, an indication that parents understand better that playing tennis encourages interaction among children and promotes discipline among them,” she explained.
Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu revealed further that for sustainability and continuous training of those who had participated, Arabinrin Junior Tennis Club was established at Akure Recreation club where they could go to practice every weekend.
While assuring that 2019 edition of the programme would be unique, she stressed that she would 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, thanked her for her commitment towards sport development in the state and opined that 2019 Summer Tennis Club is very important because it will have apositive impact on over 600 children of Ondo State
“Our children can become international stars, that is why I am calling on parents to this advantage of this 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 over 600 participants.
“This is an opportunity to make stars from our children,” he said.
Similarly, the Summer Tennis Club coach, Mr Philips Eguwa, explained that when they started two years ago many did not believe the club could succeed but since then, the tennis club had been growing.
“Part of our success story is 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 register their children,” Eguwa advised.
In his speech, Prince Wale Olagbegi, appreciated the efforts of the First Lady, saying that the state has been benefiting 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,”Olagbegi assured.