The first ever Ghana Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony came off yesterday at the tennis arena of the Accra Sports Stadium with 30 personalities being celebrated for their selflessness and dedication which brought honour to the nation in the past.
The colourful event, organised by the Tennis Foundation Ghana, an NGO, in collaboration with the Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF) saw 16 personalities being presented with sashes designed from the colours of the national flag together with citations while 14 were honoured posthumously.
The inductees included Anthony David Dove, one of the Davis Cup coaches during the tennis boom in Ghana, Edmund Annan, one of the successful tennis greats in the country, George Gamel, John Atiso, Paul Dowuona, Samuel Dowuona, Victoria Dowuona Palomeras, Ebenezer Odartey Annan and Joseph Apeletey.
The rest are Peter Annan, Isaac Akwetey Lartey, Maltilda Macbruce, Mrs Georgina Abena Kingsley-Nyinah, Narh Tetteh, Norteysah Dowuona and Naa Kwarley Quartey.
Those who were honoured posthumously were Abraham Nortei Owuo, Alfred Adams, Samuel Lamptey, Daniel Amanor, Gottfried Tawiah Oddoye, Mrs Genevieve Esamon S. P. O. Kumi, Squadron Ledaer Clend Sowu, Benjamin Borboryoe Nartey, Charles Neville Hill, N. K. Asigbetse, John Ampah and Jonathan Odonkor.
Long serving umpire and management member of the Ghana Tennis Federation, Abubakar Yakubu Lea was presented with the Eddie Annan Award for Courageous and Selfless Leadership.
The well attended ceremony started with the National Navy Band churning out melodious tunes, introduction of the Davis Cup team that won gold in Congo recently followed by the reading of tribute for the late Neville Hill read by Odartey Annan.
Speaking at the event, the Director General of the National Sports Authority, Prof Peter Twumasi called on the other federations to emulate the event by honouring and celebrating their heroes to encourage the youth.
“It is refreshing to know that today’s event remains the first ever and I want to call on other disciplines to emulate the GTF. I wish to encourage the youth in the sport to take cue from the honour done these heroes to give of their best in their various careers,” he said.
For his part, President of Tennis Foundation Ghana, Roger Crawford noted that men and women who thrived in their endavours and made the nation proud needed to be celebrated.
“The inductees represented Ghana at various tournaments and made the nation proud. And we believe that the Ministry of Youth and Sports alone cannot do everything so we decided to organise this event to honour our gallant men and women who made the nation proud during their hey days,” said Mr Crawford.
Mr Eddie Annan, who delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of the inductees, thanked the organisers for putting up one of the memorable events in the annals of tennis history in Ghana.
The event brought together some dignitaries including the Minister of Tourism, Barbara Gyasi, Nii Armaah Owiredu I, who represented Osu Traditional Council, President of the GTF, Isaac Duah, Cultural Attachee of the American Embassy, Elizabeth Ategou, Deputy Ambassador of Spain to Ghana, Mr Raphael Rodriguez Dos Ponga and Esther Arewa, a representative from the Nigerian High Commission.
By: Beatrice Laryea