By Ushang Ewa
Tennis Veteran, Charles Ekpo Duke says Nigeria can dominate the world of Tennis if sports clubs across the country develop measures that would aid in the discovery, sponsorship and grooming of future generation tennis players.
Duke stated this in Calabar on the sidelines of the Etubom Charles Ekpo Duke Tennis Championship for primary and secondary schools organized in his honor by the Cross River State Sports Commission where he stressed the need for the sports clubs to liaise with relevant sporting bodies and authorities to initiate clinics and practical sessions in a bid to make youths develop interest in the sport reports the Guardian.
“You should encourage them to come around and some of them through ball boys can become masters of the court just like some of the celebrated stars of today started from the scratch,” Duke, 88 and a retired personnel manager at the Nigerian Ports Authority said.
He noted that such sessions should be organized during vacations and long holidays which will also serve as a measure to curb crime rates as the youths will be occupied.
Also, the acting Secretary of the Calabar Sports Club, Michael Egbudu, who said the club, established since 1898, called on the state government to complete the master court which was proposed as a venue for the controversial 19th National Sports Festival which was botched several times to allow for the grooming of young talents.
The chairman of the state’s sports commission, Orok Duke explained that the championship was organised to celebrate Ekpo Duke’s exploits in the game.
Duke said the competition won by St. Patrick’s College John Patrick Odok who beat his schoolmate, George Odok in the final by 5-4 would be expanded to become a statewide event while discovered talents will be incorporated into the state’s team.
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