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Akure tennis: Odizor, Olagbegi-Kasim give kids hope

*Greedy agent stops Marylove Edwards from Akure

At the Akure township stadium, the children that attended the tennis clinic organised by the wife of the State governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, must have been so elated getting first hand training to be great players from some of the nation’s best athletes including Nduka Odizor.

Rolake Olagbegi-Kasim taking one of the children on a personal instruction
Rolake Olagbegi-Kasim taking one of the children on a personal instruction

Two great tennis icons: Nduka ‘The Duke’ Odizor and Rolake Olagbegi-Kasim conducted the programme alongside the presence of athletics star, Mary Onyali and former Zamalek SC of Egypt handball star, Olajide Fashikun. Also on parade is coach Kayode Savage, the man who tutored the sensational Marylove Edwards.

Some parents also created time to witness how their wards are taking in the programme. Some other coaches joined in the preparation of the athletes.

The children had so much basic orientations like racket handling, stances, swinging etc Thereafter, so much agility play sessions were undertaken which brought in a lot of the people who gathered to watch to be so involved, clapping hands, and following the sessions with plenty of glee and

Jagun Tony Omonori and Prince Wale Olagbegi watching through the activities
Jagun Tony Omonori and Prince Wale Olagbegi watching through the activities


Many of the parents spoken to and even the children were full of praises and prayers for ‘Arabinrin.’ A parent who will not want her name in print told www.gongnews.net “if not for this opportunity that Arabinrin is giving us, who am I to be able to dream that my two sons can have a chance to learn tennis. For me, this is the greatest gift I have this year. May God bless her. Please, help us to tell her, she has to consolidate on this clinic. How the training can continue year round. We need that support.

Another parent said, “my two daughters will play tennis. I have gone to read the story of Serena and Venus Williams. I have also determined to read all the literature I can find on the Williams and repeat that feat. Thanks to Mrs Akeredolu for this most wonderful initiative. As a family, we have started praying for her like everyday. She has given us so much

This is what we expect from you, Odizor tells the kids by demonstration
This is what we expect from you, Odizor tells the kids by demonstration

great hope.

“If not for her, who am I to see Rolake Olagbegi, Nduka Odizor or even Mary Onyali. I approached them with my two daughters, took pictures with them which I will keep for the girls to know them as they grow. Ain’t I the luckiest Igbo man in Ondo state? The good thing is, it was open to every person.”

Meanwhile, the crowd at the stadium had hoped to see the presence of the 12-year old tennis sensation, Marylove Edwards whose coming was a massive media hype. Coupled with the physical presence of her coach, people were relieved that she will show on Monday.

www.gongnews.net showed that her Nigerian agent made last minute outrageous financial demands, asking for three tickets for the athlete, himself and the father to be able to appear in Akure. The sums asked was according to our source in the region of over N1million.

Engineer Olumuyiwa Sonuga...satisfied with the clinic so far
Engineer Olumuyiwa Sonuga…satisfied with the clinic so far

The other coaches that assisted in the training programme include Anu Aiyegbusi, Obe Rotimi Samuel, Mayowa Sunday, Yekini Kasali, Phillip Egbuwa, Bamidele Francis, Olatunji Femi, Prince Wale Olagbegi and Patience Onabaholi.

Engineer Olumuyiwa Sonuga, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the tennis clinic expressed satisfaction with the very good reports he has had. “Everything is going on well. I thank God no injuries. The children like their parents are having great fun. Our guests have steamed up the activities with their presence. In all, we need to thank Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu for the vision that informed not just this clinic but the follow-up activities. Believe me, Ondo State cannot be the same with this initiative.”

Engineer Sonuga also thanked the parents who brought their children for the clinic. On a daily basis you find so much parents who are taking keen interests to find out about the regime their children are going through. Some of the parents are even surprised at the tasks that their children are going through in the programme.

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  1. Samson Morewa, Jo'burg

    Chai! You should have at least named the greedy agent that stopped Marylove Edwards from Akure. I know your reporter has his name. He should be named. Do they know what great injury that stupid agent would have caused the girl? Its so unfortunate. I am not happy. Why did her father agree to the agent running his bad intention on this? I am so sad.

  2. Aminu Ibrahim, Menio Park, California

    God bless the governor’s wife. I have been following her activities in Ondo state. This tennis project is to me the sweetest. I am so thrilled. I read somehwre how much she and her husband had contibuted to tennis development in Ibadan