FORMER Nigerian tennis star, Mr Segun Balogun, was on Monday inducted as an honorary member of Obafemi Awolowo Tennis Club (OATC).
Speaking during the brief but colourful event held at the tennis arena of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, Captain of OATC, Kunle Yusuf, said the former international player remains a source of inspiration to the current and coming generations of tennis players in the country.
"We are happy to have you in our Club. Today, we are here to celebrate you by making you an honorary member of Obafemi Awolowo Tennis Club.
This is in recognition of your past contributions to the growth of tennis in Nigeria as a player and now as an administrator.
"On behalf of OATC, I want to thank you for donating tennis balls to our Academy. Your presence alone at the training session will continue to inspire these youngsters to aspire to excellence in tennis," Yusuf said.
The former Davis Cup player, Balogun in his remarks said he was glad to be associated with OATC as he expressed appreciation for the honour accorded him.
He commended the Club for establishing the Academy section where kids will be tutored on how to become professional tennis players, just as he urged OATC to keep the flag flying.
"First I want to thank members of OATC for this honour which came as a surprise to me. This Club has indeed become another home for me. Incidentally, this is where I started my career as a tennis player.
"I must also commend this initiative of running a tennis academy, it will help talented kids a lot to make a career out of tennis. What OATC is doing in developing talents is unique," the United States-based tennis guru said.
Also speaking on the occasion, a member of OATC, Col. Adetokunbo Olufemi Ojomo (retd) lauded the kind-heartedness of Balogun.
"I commend you for having the giving spirit because even before you are named as an honorary member, you have through your act of benevolence donated tennis balls to the Academy section of this Club," he said.
Ojomo added that having the ex-tennis star at OATC would help improve the standard of play of members of the Club.
"When one trains with him, one is bound to gain from his wealth of experience. I have played against him [Balogun] and it has improved the standard of my game," Ojomo stated.
Meanwhile, a plaque was later presented to Balogun as an honorary member of OATC by IICC Shooting Stars legend and member of the victorious 1976 African Cup Winners Cup squad, Coach Idowu Otubusen.
Photo 1: IICC Shooting Stars legend, Coach Idowu Otubusen (right), presenting the OATC honorary membership plaque to Mr Segun Balogun during the event.
Photo 2: Mr Segun Balogun (first left) while presenting a carton of balls to the Academy Section of OATC last weekend. Second left is OATC member, Folasade Famuyide; technical director, OATC Academy Coach Adepeju Faboyinde and the Captain of OATC, Mr Kunle Yusuf.