Last year April 2011, the dream of two years ago(2010) came to light. It had always been an issue of being written in ink. But thank God, things turned around for the better.
As a lover of lawn tennis and kids, my hubby, Andy Ityav was able to create his initiative and named it; “ANDY ITYAV TENNIS INITIATIVE”. The first tennis edition took place in April. The clinic held from April 1st – 7th 2011 at the Aper – Aku Stadium in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. It recorded the attendance of 12 boys and 8 girls, as well as 3 coaches.
The 2nd edition of the ANDY ITYAV TENNIS INITIATIVE, held from August 8th – 27th 2011, at the Aper – Aku Stadium in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. A total of 68 kids registered and participated in the clinic/tournament. The clinic had a total of ten coaches.
The Closing Ceremony of the 2nd edition, held on the 27th of August 2011. It featured presentation of prizes/certificates to all participating children with the State Commissioners, Chairmen of Local Governments, Tennis Veterans, Heads of Government Agencies, Parents, Journalists and Sport Enthusiasts etc, in attendance. Not forgetting my humble self. The Closing Ceremony turned out to be a success and one of the hottest gists in town.
In December 2nd – 11th 2011, ANDY ITYAV TENNIS INITIATIVE was invited to the 2nd edition of the Abuja Annual Friends & Families Tennis Tournament, organized by Mr. Andy Ityav and friends. It held at the Abuja National Stadium tennis court complex, featuring different categories and participants as in its first edition.
ANDY ITYAV TENNIS INITIATIVE sponsored four out of its discovered kids to participate. It was their first ever tennis tournament outside Benue State. Impressively, two of the kids made it to the quarter finals of the edition. Nicholas Ibrahim and Oche Adehi in the Boys U-14 and Boys U-12 Categories respectively.
In the same year 2011, ANDY ITYAV TENNIS INITIATIVE, organized and single handedly again sponsored a junior tennis championship at the Makurdi Club 1930 Tennis Complex in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. It took place from the 15th- 20th December.
The tournament featured a total of 42 participants (boys & girls) featuring in 4 categories. 20 of the participating kids and their coaches were invited from Abuja, accommodated, fed and transported locally and back to Abuja by AITI.
The championship was a huge success with distinguished dignitaries gracing the closing ceremony including the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr. Aondowase Chia and the Chairman, Benue State Tennis Association & Board Member, Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) Hon. Victor Hemba.
Following the improved level of play, 5 players discovered by AITI were invited to the AFRICAN JUNIOR TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP trials camp in Abuja by the National Junior Coach, Mr. Obale in January 2012. Though they failed to make the final team to represent Nigeria, but won the hearts of the National Junior Tennis coaching crew.
ANDY ITYAV TENNIS INITIATIVE recently sponsored 4 of its players, (3boys & 1girl) to participate in the annual edition of the Setraco/Zenith Bank Tennis clinic/tournament which held from 30th July – 31st August 2012 at the Abuja Country Club Life Camp Estate. Oche Adehi made it to the Quarter Finals stage of the Boys U-12 Category.
ANDY ITYAV TENNIS INITIATIVE is presently undergoing registration at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to be now known as ANDY ITYAV TENNIS FOUNDATION (AITF).
Within one year, the founder and initiator of AITI, Mr Andy Ityav has been able to make a statement in the world of Tennis in both Benue State and FCT Abuja. That is why the Rotaract Club of the Benue State University Chapter, deemed it fit to present him with an award; ” Award of Leadership Excellence”.
The event took place on the 20th of October 2012 at the Theatre Complex of the Benue State University. I was overwhelmed with joy when I was called on stage to stand beside my hubby, while his citation was read. He was later presented with the award.
It is of great joy to me that he was presented with the award. I knew how it was in 2010. He always wrote the items needed to start a clinic. I once challenged him by saying; “I’m tired of seeing you waste your good ideas on paper, why not go out there and make it happen”.
But today, the story is different. He has touched the lifes of so many kids through tennis and has given them the chance to believe in themselves. On behalf of our daughter and I, I hereby Congratulate you(Andy Ityav) and wish you more good things in life. May the good works you’ve started, always be acknowledged wherever you go. Congratulations Dearie. You are highly appreciated.