Coordinator of Ondo State Summer Tennis Clinic, Mr Seun Betiku, on Wednesday, said that no fewer than over 150 talents had been produced out of more than 1,000 who had participated in the last three editions of the clinic.
Betiku stated this at a news conference, organised to usher in the fourth edition of the tennis clinic in Akure.
The coordinator, who noted that the 2020 edition could not hold due to COVID-19 pandemic, also said that no fewer than 400 children would participate in the 2021 edition of the clinic, which started in 2017.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two-week clinic was an initiative of Wife of the state governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.
NAN also reports that the programme will hold between Sept. 13 and Sept. 18.
Betiku noted that the programme had produced young tennis players who had participated in state, regional and national competitions.
He said that the talents discovered had metamorphosed into Arabinrin Junior Tennis Club, where they were being groomed, adding that they had participated in 15 tournaments since inception.
“The Ondo State Summer Tennis Clinic is a citizen-driven initiative. It is an offshoot of Arabinrin Junior Tennis Club and is fully funded by wife of the governor.
“Most of the kids are indigent who cannot afford rackets, balls and other kits,” he said.
Also, the coach in charge the initiative, Mayowa Sunday, announced that 14-year old Olamilekan Moses, who joined in 2018 as a greenhorn, participated in a tournament in the South-West same year and reached quarter-final.
He added that Moses also got to semi-final at the CBN tournament in 2020, out of 16 states.
Sunday, who is also the head coach of the state Tennis Association, noted that the rate at which the kids were performing at national competitions was a pointer to achieving Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu’s aim of birthing the initiative.
According to him, the remuneration of coaches, provision of tennis kits for the children and their trips to tournaments outside the state are being sponsored by the governor’s wife.
He advised parents against discouraging their children who indicated interest in the tennis clinic.