The Springdale Area Recreation Club, a swim and tennis club located in North Carolina, United States, has donated tennis equipment to up-and-coming Nigerian players as part of efforts to aid the development of the sport in the country.
Former national doubles champion Oladele Michael, who is currently the head tennis coach at the club, distributed the kits to the players at the National Stadium, Lagos, last month.
Some of the kits are tennis rackets, shoes, balls, hats ,springs and grips. Former CBN tennis doubles champion Michael also organised a three-day tournament for the youngsters.
He said, “When I started playing tennis, I went through a lot of struggles; I had no tennis shoes, no rackets. Later I had the opportunity to travel to America on a tennis scholarship and right now I’m the head tennis coach at the Springdale Area Recreational Club. I asked the club for their donation (of tennis kits) to help the Nigerian youths playing the game and they did.”
He said more Nigerian youths would benefit from the kits donated by the club in years to come. Michael also lauded Springdale’s tennis coordinator Diane Schoch for her efforts in ensuring that Nigerian kids got better kits to play the game.
“The club is ever willing to help. Every month, they supply me goods both used and new ahead of my trips to Nigeria. I come once every year (to Nigeria) but I’m trying to make it twice so I can help more kids. Schoch and other members of the club have been wonderful working tirelessly to make sure we get kits for the kids.” He added.
On the standard exhibited by the young players during his three-day tournament, Michael stated, “They are talented and they started using the kits given to them right away.”