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Nigerians in Diaspora promise to uplift tennis in Nigeria


Lagos  –       U.S.-based Tennis star and a former Nigerian Tennis player, Michael Oladele, on Friday urged the Nigerian government to give more support to the sport for the discovery of young talents.

Oladele made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while distributing some tennis kits and sports shoes to teenagers from a group of Nigerians in the U.S. at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

The U.S.-based tennis star said that Nigerians in the Diaspora, especially those in the U.S. would not relent in making sure that the tennis reached the desired height in Nigeria.

Oladele also said that the tennis kits distributed by the group of Nigerians based in the U.S. were sponsored by a club, Springdale Area Recreational Club, North Raleigh.

NAN reports that Springdale Area Recreational Club North Raleigh is a swimming and tennis club offering outdoor recreation and social activities. It provides teams programmes and teen competitions for all levels.

The group also organised three days tournament and tennis clinics for young talented tennis player where about 20 players competed at the Tennis Court of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

The tennis enthusiast said disclosed that the U.S.-based group would be sponsoring many other competitions in Nigeria, while advising the government to provide more facilities.

Oladele said that if young tennis players were given the right exposure to the game through adequate facilities, Nigeria was bound to produce great tennis stars that could make the country proud.

“Someone like me struggled as a junior player in Nigeria, but I had the opportunity to relocate to America and so, we promised to give back to the society.

“Tennis should be given its right attention because it is a sport that is loved all over the world and Nigeria has the potential to sell to the world but we have yet to get it right.

“The problem is about our government’s insincerity in promoting sports. This is killing the sport in Nigeria. In America, there are tennis courts all over; in every nook and cranny.

“Government needs to do better by providing facilities for kids to play and express themselves, there are many potential in the country, but how do we discover them without adequate facilities,’’ he said.

Oladele said that the group in the U.S. would not relent in doing its part of grassroots support for the budding tennis stars in Nigeria due to its belief in getting the desired result.

“We are doing all we can to support tennis in Nigeria which should not be us alone, all sports enthusiasts should also support too, it is for the benefit of all.

“We believe in the Nigerian project of getting the right talents here and we will not relent in doing that because we are sure of getting the result.

“Our supports, however, will be more meaningful if there are adequate sports facilities as we have in America for the teenagers to train appropriately and that is our call to the government.

“I want everybody to come together and support tennis because talking about the potential, we are blessed, but we lack structures to harness them,’’ he said.

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