The Wife of Ondo State Gov., Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, on Friday launched the 2018 State Summer Tennis Clinic for children between four and 13 years old.
Speaking at the ceremony, which took place at the Township Stadium in Akure, Akeredolu expressed joy that the dream of initiating the tennis clinic was gradually being realised.
She said that she was impressed that the children who participated in last year’s edition attended other competitions and won laurels.
“This clinic is essentially to identify and develop talents in our children.
“It is important to encourage sports development among youths in the state, particularly at the grassroots level.”
She said that the essence was to discover and develop the latent potential and skills of young ones who were capable of becoming champions.
“The benefits of catching our youths young, especially in sports, are enormous.
“Let us look at champions like Venus and Serena Williams. They all started as young children.
“Today, they have become world champions winning numerous awards. We have Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Billie Jean King, just to mention a few.
The governor’s wife said that the programme “is not a government thing”.
“You can give into it. Let nobody wait for the governor to bring money here,” she said.
Mr Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, commended the governor’s wife for the initiative.
Yusuf-Ogunleye said that the programme would go a long way in building future tennis players for the state and Nigeria.
A participant, Aanuoluwapo Efunsile, said the participants would use the opportunity provided by Akeredolu to develop themselves and become great tennis players.
At least 300 students are participating in the programme holding from Aug. 23 to Sept.1, 2018.
It is organised by the Office of Wife of Ondo Governor in collaboration with the Ondo State Sports Council. (NAN)