US tennis academy brings hope for Nigerian, African talents
Nigerian tennis youngsters will be privileged to enjoy high level training and mentoring like their counterparts in the United States and Europe following a special programme to be launched in Nigeria by US-based AJ Tennis Academy.
According to the Programme Coordinator, Tolu Adeleye, the objective is not only to raise and support the growth of potential tennis stars, but also to impact their curiousity, critical thinking, confidence, creativity, as well as leadership and civic responsibilities skills to engage and aspire to rule and change the world.
“Tennis is truly a global sports with major tournaments in all the continents and talents abound in Africa to compete at the highest stage. All they require is technical support and mentoring. Just as there are about 500 after school programs for tennis development in the US, our aim is to establish innovative ways to expand opportunity and bring hope to Africa children,” Adeleye revealed.
“Last spring, we hosted a tennis clinic in partnership with the local police department in Minneapolis, U.S., and we were also in Lagos, Nigeria, in November 2017 to host our first ‘A Better Africa Through Tennis,’ where over 600 kids and 30 coaches attended. It was a tremendous success and we are planning an encore.
“Our immediate plan is to host temporary multi-day academics and tennis camps in partnership with local secondary schools and the Nigerian Tennis Federation, to enhance the development of local tennis talents. In the long run, our goal is to build a permanent facility in Nigeria and other African nations as centres of excellence for continuous academic and tennis instructions.”
To realise the vision, Adeleye, a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management, and his AJ Academy team mate, Justin Jennings, a tennis coach with over 20 years of experience and the 2015 recipient of the United States Tennis Association Northern Frank Voigt Pro of the Year Award, would embark on a roadshow, starting in April in Nigeria and then across Africa to solicit the partnership of organisations and individuals towards raising the needed funds.
He said some states and local governments had given their verbal and written endorsements for the project, adding that they were already interacting with potential students on Social Media in preparation for the programme designed to represent the future of tennis in the African continent and across the globe.
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