The management of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club has expressed concern over the development of the sport in the country and has launched a campaign which will lead to an overhaul of the game.
The club’s new president, Mr. Kolade Olutekunbi said so during the club’s group meeting held recently at Tawafa Balwe Square, Lagos Island.
Briefing reporters after his election as the club’s new president-elect, Olutekunbi expressed his enthusiasm and gratitude to the members as well as the general public for finding in him a capable hand that will not only steer the club to results revolutionaries. .
According to him, the club has consistently set a paradigm by launching several programs including the Lagos Open which has acclaimed the club as not only the biggest but also the biggest lawn tennis club in the country.
Describing the current state of the sector as deplorable, the Club Chairman said the county’s sports sector can do better and win better laurels at international events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games if there is a level of diversification in the sector. Describing the state of the sector as a “monochrome competitor”, Olutekunbi pointed out that the nation has only focused on a few sports and has not considered developing others in depth, which, according to him, has the ability not only to bring laurels to the glory of the nation, but also to develop the national economy.
Speaking on the Revamp project, Olutekunbi said the club will be embarking on a ‘Young in Court project’, an initiative which he explained aims to instill in the minds of Nigerian teenagers, by especially high school students, the basics and rudiments of tennis, which he believes will bring forth the next generation of tennis enthusiasts who will lead the nation and restore the glory of the nation.
In the past, Olutekunbi recalled how inter-house sports competitions held by schools back then gave birth to most of the country’s sports stars. He described the current fate of school sports competition as pitiful given that many schools have swept the whole nature of sports activities under the rug as they basically only focus on academia and nothing else. .
“It’s quite disheartening to see that most of our children will become TV sports enthusiasts because they never experience the sport for themselves. The inter-house sports competition was not just a an incubation space where young athletes were born, but an avenue for students to succeed outside the four walls of the classroom.
“Some students may not be able to make applauded distinctions within the class, but you see, inter-house sports competitions not only give them a sense of belonging, but also boost their morals and revamp their level of trust that they matter too.
Speaking on the state of tennis in the country, the clubs chairman noted that a large number of Nigerians might be interested in joining but they relented due to skepticism and the belief that the sport is exclusively reserved for the elite of society. He explained that tennis as a sport has the potential to bring more medals to the nation as long as authorities and private organizations are willing to invest and develop the sector.
Likewise, the president of the club, Mr. Etim mana, who also addressed reporters during his dispatch, stressed the need for older people to be active and engage in sports activities like tennis. . Testifying that tennis is not just a sport but a family, Mr. Etim points out that the health benefits of an active tennis practice are innumerable.
He also called on citizens, especially stakeholders, to invest and encourage the younger population to see the necessity and beauty of the game.
Founded in 1895, the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club is the oldest in Nigeria. The Club, which occupies approximately 14,000 square meters, is located at 12, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island. The Club hosts several tennis tournaments with the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship (GCLT), an annual ITF Pro-Circuit competition with $100,000 prize money. It is undoubtedly the most renowned tennis event in the entire West African region.