West and Central Africa Zonal Junior Tennis Championship opens in Winneba
Winneba, Jan. 19, GNA - The West and Central Africa Zonal U-14 and 16 Junior Tennis Championship has opened at the Winneba Sports College on Monday with a pledge to give further boost to the development of other sporting events in the country.
Mr Worlanyo Agra, Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Council who opened the championship on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports said the ministry has put in measures to give a major boost to the development of tennis with the provision of the needed facilities.
He said that another area that shows the commitment of the Ministry is the use of the refurbished tennis courts at the Ohene Djan sports stadium in Accra which would soon be put into use to not only cater for local but international tennis competitions.
The U-14 -16 championship which is under the patronage of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Sports Council is in collaboration with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) with host country Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali and Senegal in attendance at the opening ceremony.
Mr Sam P. Yarley, Vice Chairman of the Ghana Tennis Association said it is the aim of the Association to look for, use and develop youth talents in tennis activities across the length and breadth of the country.
He said following the foresight and zeal to develop tennis in the country, this is the second time that the country was hosting a tournament organised by the ITF and it is the long term plan of the Association to host the Davis Cup in the country as well as the Aboakyiri and May Day Tennis Festivals.
Mr Yarley said it is therefore necessary to catch and unearth youthful talents from the grassroots level at their prime so that the country would not only be noted for being a major soccer nation but in tennis as well.
Mr Yarley urged the participants to use sports to change the political polarisation of the sub continent by showing good sportsmanship and to interact constructively devoid of language and political differences.
The Omanhene of the Efutu Traditional Area, Nana Kwabena Ghartey VII, who was the Special Guest of Honour advised the participants to use their youthful exuberance to build bridges among themselves, their people and countries and pledged to continue to assist the Sports College in its development programmes.
Mr Dominic Asabea, Director of Winneba Sports College appealed for support from not only government but the corporate bodies and the people to ensure that various sporting talents and events are developed at the College.
In the opening day matches of the Boys U-16, Nigeria's Mbanu Onyeka thrashed Seydou Diallo of Mali 6-0, 6-1, Tunde Segodo of Benin defeated Sam Nortey of Ghana 6-2, 6-4, Moses Armah of Ghana defeated Alipo of Togo 6-4, 6-3 while Boli of Togo also trounced Astrib Jordy of Gabon 6-1, 6-0.
Bolami of Nigeria defeated Jacques Houngbo of Benin 6-3, 6-1, Franklin Effa of Ghana defeated Dino of Mali 6-2, 6-3, Benjamin Karipago of Cameroon defeated Wolfang Lyobi of Gabon 6-2, 6-2 with Gabriel Atteh of Ghana also defeating Diof Samba of Senegal 7-5, 6-0.
The Girls U-16 saw Yvonne Kamegue of Cameroon smashing Afi Getcho of Togo 6-0, 6-0, Sarah Hiadra of Cote D'Ivoire defeated Aminat Quadri of Nigeria 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, Toure Batourou of Mali decisioned Floraine Gandounou of Benin 6-1, 6-2.
Stacy Bulley of Ghana defeated Sia Ahibie of Cote D'Ivoire 6-4, 7-5, Faoziath Ibrahim of Benin smashed Anin Okoro of Nigeria 6-0, 6-1 while Catina Gamo of Cameroon also defeated Seynabo Diof of Senegal 6-0, 6-3.