The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, on Thursday reiterated her commitment to developing youths in sports, especially tennis, across the state.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu gave the assurance at the opening of the 2023 Ondo State Summer Tennis Clinic in Akure.
She was represented by Mrs Temitope Daniya, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Gender and Documentation,
It was reported that Ondo State Summer Tennis Clinic was founded by Anyanwu-Akeredolu six years ago.
The wife of the governor said that it had become imperative for youths to pursue careers in various sports.
She said that tennis held vast potential.
According to her, the summer tennis clinic is a platform provided for children to come together to learn about tennis.
“The tennis clinic serves as a platform to nurture and develop tennis talents, guide youths towards a promising future, and pave the way for them to excel not only within the region, but on a global scale.
“Looking back, we can proudly say that over 3,000 young individuals from the state’s three senatorial districts have benefitted from this programme.
“It is a testament to the impact we can make when we come together with a shared vision.
“The enthusiasm and anticipation among the children and their families are truly inspiring, and we must continue to support and encourage their dreams,” she said.
She appealed to well-meaning individuals and organisations to support the initiative.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu said that sustaining the vision required financial and material support.
“Together, we can create opportunities for our young ones to flourish and shine on a global stage. Let us remember that every child deserves a chance to explore their talents and interests.
“We need to sustain and expand this incredible platform, creating opportunities for our youths and showcasing the talents that reside within our great state.
“Today marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in the lives of our young tennis enthusiasts. Let us pledge our support and commitment to their growth and development.
“Together, we can nurture a future generation of champions,” she said.
The Ondo State Commissioner for Sport and Youths, Mr Bamidele Ologunloluwa, thanked the wife of the governor for the initiative.
He urged parents to allow their children to key into the programme.
According to him, sports is another way of creating jobs while the summer tennis clinic is for the development of children in the state.
“I can assure you that sports is the way to go, not for recreation alone, but as a big business.
“Sports, these days, as football, table tennis, tennis and others, is now a job on its own,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the ceremony, Mr Adu Olumuyiwa, applauded the wife of the governor for efforts in improving the lives of young people especially girls, and women in the state.
The chairman described the programme as a human capacity development initiative.
Olumuyiwa donated one million Naira for the programme, and called on philanthropists to support the initiative.