Nigerian tennis icon, Nduka Odizor says there is need to take the country’s grassroots sports development program to a higher pedestal if Nigeria is to compete favourably with its international counterparts in the future.
Odizor made this known in Asaba on Monday while briefing journalists ahead of the five-day Delta Summer Tennis Clinic organised by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in conjunction with the Delta State Tennis Association and the Duke Odizor International Tennis Foundation.
Odizor said he was in the country to discover young tennis talents who would fly Nigeria’s flag in future tournaments.
He added that the clinic was aimed at encouraging young people to take up tennis especially as the nation has lacked a top player since he left the scene in the early 90’s.
Odizor said the organizers intend to expand the clinic with tennis centres expected to be built in local government headquarters in the State to aid the development of the game in Delta.
The State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. David Onekpe as well as the Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa represented by the Director General in the Commission, Mr. Victor Onogagamue gave an assurance that the program would become a part of the State’s education calendar because Physical and Health Education will become a compulsory subject from this term.
Odizor represented Nigeria at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, where he was defeated in the first round by American lucky loser Robert Seguso.
The right-hander won one career title in singles (Taipei, 1983) and seven doubles titles.
His highest ATP singles ranking of World No. 52 was achieved in June 1984.