.Former governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada (m) with Nduka Duke Odizor and Mary Onyali. –
Former governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, has secured the endorsement of Nigeria’s most successful tennis player, Nduka Duke Odizor to set up a tennis training centre in Lokoja, the state capital.
The Lokoja training programme which will be named after the former governor is the third of the six that the former tennis prodigy promised to set up before the end of 2018. He had earlier visited Akure (Ondo state) and Asaba (Delta State).
Speaking during a reception for the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI) in his Abuja home on Tuesday morning, the former governor said, “I want to give hope and a guaranteed future to children in our state. Partnering with you (Odizor) is one great opportunity and I had to tap into it.”
“I have been monitoring your vision for years. I am so happy that your team are doing this outside the government. Every Nigerian needs to rise and support this team. By the grace of God I will personally support your team with all that is required”, Wada said.
In his remarks, Mr Odizor said, “we shall be delivering this training in partnership with my foundation, the Duke Odizor International Tennis (Do it) alongside my other partners and former international brands”.
Odizor reminded his host that the first tennis club in Nigeria was actually in Lokoja. “We are recreating history and I am happy I am a part of this resurgent effort.
“Like we did in Akure and Asaba, we shall make available some training equipment in Lokoja like balls, rackets, nets and other items”.
In his presentation, the Executive Director (Technical), Chief Mary Onyali thanked the former governor for identifying with the project in the quest to develop new set of kids who will be bigger and better than the Duke himself.
The former African record holder said, “after the first nine months of training, the children will be put into the 10 clubs where they will start to play in our league. We have worked out a comprehensive modality that will assure them a grand future”.
It is a community project. The tennis sector is only named after the former governor for initiating this link but members of the community will drive, own, deliver and grow the project.
Captain Idris Wada however signed the celebrity endorsement card and signed into the Team Odizor brand.
Three zones are to make up the six centres Mr Odizor promised to start in the country, they are the north east, north west and the south east.
“As soon as states in those regions show interest, we shall commence full implementation plans under the Do It Foundation structure,” Onyali said.
Nduka Odizor presented the governor with a tennis racket in appreciation for the initiative to secure for his state one of the six centres.