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Makinde opens GSM tennis tournament as Oyo moves to discover fresh talents

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Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, yesterday declared open the Governor Seyi Makinde Tennis Tournament organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sport, which he said is one of his administration’s sports development projects.

Speaking at the Ibadan Recreation Club, where he launched the GSM Tennis Tournament, a brainchild of his Special Assistant on Sports, Oluwatobi Oyewumi, Makinde expressed excitement at the sight of many young tennis talents ready to feature in the competition. He promised that his government would do everything to encourage the development of talents in the game.

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“We want to develop as many of these talents as possible and have our own Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Kevin Henderson, who is about the highest-ranked tennis player from the continent of Africa.

“I am sure that, very soon, we will also have people from Nigeria. And I believe that from Oyo State, a tennis talent shall emerge very soon.

“Mubarak is here and he is a great tennis talent that we have discovered. He is 13 years old and has beaten me several times. So, we will encourage him. We do hope by God’s grace that he may one day be our own Djokovic, the number one player in the world. That is how tall our dream about Tennis is.”

Earlier, Oyewumi said the tournament was in commemoration of the long-standing history of investing and developing the capacity of younger generations in the area of tennis.

“I would like to especially thank the governor, who believes fervently in the youths and has given the youths of this state the opportunity to spread their tentacles. Your love and vision towards the development of sports can be seen and felt throughout the state,” he added.

Also speaking on the occasion, the state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede, described the event as epochal, noting that a lot of things have taken a new shape in the state since Makinde assumed office as governor, with sports development being one of them.

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