Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has pledged his government’s support to develop a new generation of sports stars that will turn around the fortunes of the state in the nearest future. I know what sports can be used to make our state the greatest in the country with the entry of Nduka Odizor.
Arakunrin Akeredolu was speaking when he hosted Nigeria’s tennis icon, Nduka Odizor, in his office in Akure. The visit is in a bid to ensuring the development of some sports, particularly Tennis in Ondo State.
Nduka Odizor had promised to donate equipment worth N10m to ease smooth take off of the tennis project named Batty Anyanwu-Akeredolu tennis programme in the state.
The Governor demanded for swimming to be included in the multi-sport project. “Swimming is an important sport that shouldn’t be left out. Without swimming, we will be half achieved. Please consider this for our strategic interest.”
CEO of Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI), Olajide Fashikun conferred with his Technical Director, Chief Mary Onyali and the governor’s request was almost instantly granted. NSDFI are the key partners of the Nduka Odizor Tennis Foundation.
In his response, Odizor thanked the Akeredolus for the great impact they’ve been investing in tennis over the years which has produced several great folks whose children are now making waves in the sport.
As for us, we are desirous of contributing our quota to developing new kids who will do what we couldn’t do when we were playing.
Ondo state has been particularly good to me. I have friends who have variously contributed to my becoming who I am today. It is however ironic that it is the same Ondo state that offered me a platform to give back in the most ordered form. I will do my best to make this a very rich experience.
He appreciated the invitation of the wife of the governor, Arabinrin Betty Aayanwu-Akeredolu. She told me that all the members of the family play tennis. It is the rare honour to want to plant tennis as a result in the state that drove me and my team to honour her, honour you and the people with this project.
As part of our contributions too, after nine months of rudimentary training, the children will play in league circuits in the state with a N10million prize money per sport. In addition, we shall bring a breast and prostrate cancer tennis Futures championship back to Akure.
You know when I was playing, Akure used to have a $25million tournament. I couldn’t play here then because my standard and choice was any tournament that was $75million and above. Here I am, I am back to Ondo,” he said.
The Deputy Governor, Arakunrin Alfred Agboola Ajayi as well as the Secretary to the State Government, Honourable Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde, Otunba Gbenga Elegbeleye joined in receiving the guests.