THE commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Yoruba Tennis Club, one of the oldest social clubs in Nigeria, commenced last week with a press briefing by the Chairman, Brother Ayodele o. Martins.
Martins, in a statement, revealed that the Yoruba Tennis club was founded on the 15th September, 1926, adding that it is a private members club.
He highlighted that the aims and objectives are: To encourage all kinds of sports, particularly, the game of lawn tennis among its members and the public; to inculcate the spirit of good sportsmanship among its members; to promote social activities among tis members; to promote a common meeting ground for tis members; to promote education, international relations and concord among different nations.
An Executive Committee under the leadership of the Chairman oversees the day-to-day administration of the Club.
Martins hinted that the Board of trustees is the custodian of the traditions, usages, norms and customs of the Club, and constitutes positive and stabilizing forces in the club.
He observed that though the name of the club bears Yoruba, membership has always been extended to non-Yoruba friends. “We continue to have non-Yoruba members who use the club regularly and have contributed in no small measure to the growth of the Club,” martins explained.
“Ours is a unique club governed by traditions, customs, norms and usages than by a written constitution. That the Chairman is “infallible” or “can do no wrong” is not written in the constitution, but understood by all members from the first day they set foot on the Club’s premises,” he declared.
The Chairman disclosed that the Club lays more emphasis on honesty, integrity and industry in the members as opinion leaders in our polity than on material wealth. “As a Club, we maintain a non-partisan posture but individual members are free to express themselves politically. Our elders regularly and consistently sit to discuss contemporary state and national issues of concern and proffer possible solutions, which are transmitted to state and national leaders,” he clarified.
Highlight of the Club’s evolution we indicated to include: the period of the club’s establishment at Tokunbo Street, Lagos; the period at the old premises at golf links road now occupied by the National Museum; the new clubhouse at the present site on 2 Yoruba tennis Club road, Onikan, Lagos; the addition of a wing comprising the Dining hall and the V. Ade Allen Hall to the clubhouse; the provision of the Tennis Court with flood lighting; the erection of the Norman-Williams Pavilion; the construction of the greetings \hall and its recent extension to include the Club’s Administrative wing; the impending installation of a panoramic lift and the construction of a sports pavilion with standard changing rooms. Not only has the Club recorded giant developmental strides, since it establishment in 1926, it has also through its annual lecture series promoted discourse on contemporary national issues, thereby engendering peace and harmonious relationships in the polity.
The wives of members who are affectionately referred to as Sisters were said to be actively participating in the celebrations and, under their umbrella body called the Ladies Wing” have organized a trade and fashion fair tagged ‘YTC Naija fair’ which is scheduled to hold on Saturday 10th September, 2016 and is designed to showcase the wares and products of local entrepreneurs using local materials. The fair will be fully sponsored by the Club and is set to be declared open by the Lagos State Commissioner for Employment and Wealth Creation, tuned Durosinmi-Etti, with the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, and the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Idiat Oluranti Adebule as Special Guests of honour. The Lagos State Employment trust Fund and micro, small and medium enterprises financiers will also have s stand at the fair.
The day of the 90th Anniversary is Thursday, 15th September, 2016, when a Distinguished Nigerian Entrepreneur and founder of Premier Lotto, Chief Kessington Adebukola Adebutu, will commission the refurbished Lawn Tennis Court, lay the foundation for the spectators’ gallery of the Lawn Tennis Court and launch Volume III of the Club’s history. The Royal father of the day at the 90th Anniversary Cocktail is His Royal majesty, Oba Adewale Sotobi, Adegorushen V, the Anyagburen of Ikorodu.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will deliver the Club’s 90th Anniversary Lecture. No topic is given to the vice president but he is celebrated as a high intellectual who will speak on any issue on the state of the nation.
The 90th Anniversary celebrations will be rounded off with a Gala Night on Saturday, 17th September, 2016, with faith band on the band Stand, cultural dances and other side attractions.