Ekpenyong Calls for More Private Sector Participation in Sports



Peter Ekpenyong, whose wards, David and Rebecca, played in the final matches of the U-16 boys and girls’ categories of the just-concluded Chevron Junior Tennis Masters Championship, has called on corporate bodies within the South-south region and the entire country to invest in sports development in the zone.

Ekpenyong said there were abundant talents in the region, adding that helping them to build their talents would take the youths away from crime and other vices.

David Ekpenyong won the silver medal in the boys’ U-16 category after losing to Daniel Adeleye from the South-west in the final, while his older sister, Rebecca, won the girls’ version.

Speaking after the competition, which drew tennis lovers from all walks of life to the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, Ekpenyong Snr. said: “We have a lot of talents in the South – south and it is obvious that the Chevron Tennis Programme is yielding dividends by bringing up the sporting talent in the zone.

“Giving the youths the avenue to display their talents would help the country discover the athletes in them and also reduce crime in the country.

“Nigeria is blessed with top quality human resources that could win medals for the country if well developed.”

Also speaking at the end of the competition, the Chairman/Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria, Mr. Jeffrey Ewing promised that his company would continue to invest in the youth of the country through sports.

He added, “Today, we commemorate the long standing history of investing in developing the capacity of the younger generation in the area of tennis. I would like to use this opportunity to commend our JV partner, the NNPC, for sharing and supporting our vision, which is to help boost the profile of Nigerian tennis sport.

“Today’s event offers another great display of tennis artistry by our young players. The Junior Masters Championship is designed to discover and nurture future players and champions. We are moving closer to the realization of this objective with each tournament.

“Participants in this programme have continued to excel. The finalists in the boys’ and girls’ categories at last year’s tournament have all been promoted to senior category.

“Recently, seven juniors (five girls and two boys), alumni of this tournament, got into the main draw of the Senior CBN Championships, with one of them, Omolayo Bamidele reaching the quarterfinals and was subsequently invited to the Africa Games camp. She is currently ranked 11th in the country at the senior level.

“Destiny Okhinaye, another participant in this tournament won the tennis singles in the girls’ category of the National Youth Sports Festival in Ilorin in August 2019.”