*I will support the federation with all my strength -Odizor
By Oluwole Francis
Nigeria’s most successful tennis player, Nduka ‘The Duke’ Odizor has sent his congratulatory message to the newly-elected board to be headed by Mr. Dayo Akindoju. Also, immediate past-president of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) Engineer Sani Ndanusa has urged tennis stakeholders to support the new board.
In a telephone conversation from his Houston base, Mr Odizor said, “I am happy at the baton change in the federation. We now have a businessman in the saddle. He needs everyone’s support. Personally, I will support his administration with all my strength.
“You know I had launched a six-centre tennis development programme. The pilot is named Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu tennis development programme in Ondo state. It will start in July with a clinic. Then, that of Delta state. The rest four centres, I will make Mr Akinduro’s Board to participate in the placement.”
As part of my unique plans to support the sport, I will spearhead an international tennis tournament to promote campaign for breast and prostrate cancer in Ondo State. In addition, we have plans to see to the possibility of bringing back the Ogbe hard court tennis tournament in Benin-City. This will help the NTF to have clearer vision of taking our sport further.
Ndanusa, a former Minister of Sports, commended Yemi Owoseni, who contested with Akindoju, as well as other tennis stakeholders for displaying maturity in Tuesday’s Federations’ election in Abuja stressing that the manner at which the poll was conducted proved that Nigerian tennis is on the way to further growth.
He said, “we are one big family as far as tennis is concerned and this was clearly demonstrated in the matured and peaceful manner in which the election into the board and that of the President and Vice-president were conducted. With this type of spirit, we are confident that significant growth will be achieved in the next few years.”
The former Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) boss described his tenure as the NTF helmsman as successful and eventful with the solid foundation laid in infrastructural provision, general development and cordial relationship with international and continental bodies urging Akindoju to ‘keep the fire burning’.
“Akindoju carries a lot of expectations because he has been making giant strides in the last few years that he came into administration of tennis. His passion and commitment for the sport will be a significant factor in elevating the game to a very high standard and we are confident of him to deliver.”