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The Ghana Tennis Hall of Fame – A Year On

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On 14th August 2020, the Tennis Foundation Ghana (TFG) in partnership with the Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF) would induct the first class of the country’s maiden Tennis Hall of Fame.

The first class would see 31 legends inducted including 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 all of whom were celebrated for their selflessness and dedication to the sport over the years.

Victoria Dowuona Palomeras - Tennis
Victoria Dowuona Palomeras (left) cries tears of joy

The rest of the inductees were Peter Annan, Isaac Akwetey Lartey, Maltilda Macbruce, Mrs Georgina Abena Kingsley-Nyinah, Narh Tetteh, Norteysah Dowuona, Naa Kwarley Quartey, Abraham Nortei Owuo, Alfred Adams, Samuel Lamptey, Daniel Amanor, Gottfried Tawiah Oddoye, Mrs Genevieve Esamon S. P. O. Kumi, Squadron Leader Clend Sowu, Benjamin Borboryoe Nartey, Charles Neville Hill, N. K. Asigbetse, John Ampah and Jonathan Odonkor.

Long-serving umpire and management member of the GTF, Abubakar Yakubu Lea was presented with the Eddie Annan Award for Courageous and Selfless Leadership.

In what was a well attended and covered event, I decided to get in contact with Chief Coordinator of the Hall of Fame, Giovanni Adinyira, to look back at the impact the event had.

“I didn’t really feel the impact at the ceremony, though it was fanfare and all that but a year on; you know we went to interview of the inductees? So, that is where I really saw the impact of what we had done, because most of them [the inductees] really did a lot for the nation,”

“But they felt that they had not been recognized so they were really appreciative that a group or organization or Mother Ghana still finds them relevant to the development of the game so I think we have really made a great impact,” he added

Duah & Adinyira Tennis
GTF President Isaac Aboagye Duah (left) with Giovanni Adinyira (right)

The second class of the Ghana Tennis Hall of Fame is set to be held on 14th August 2021 and Giovanni spoke about the lessons he and his team learned from organizing the previous Hall of Fame and their plans to solve them for the next edition “One thing I can say is that we should start early publicity, early fact finding on the inductees because some of them had passed on and 2 of them it was only at the last moment that we found their relatives.”

“So I believe for next year’s event the preparation has already started from that experience so that we get all the facts and history about the inductees to be.” He added

“We also call on information from the general public about who they feel should be in the next Hall of Fame and why they think so.” Giovanni concluded

The GTF and TFG celebrated the anniversary of the Hall of Fame releasing a joint statement saying that 14th August would be remembered as a special day in the Ghana tennis community “August 14th has now become a day all stakeholders and well-wishers of Ghana Tennis will look forward to. It is on this day that all those who have toiled for our sport to bring glory and honor to Ghana look forward to being honored.” the statement read

The statement also revealed that the next class of inductees will cover the period from 1981 to 2000 and could be held on 14th August 2021 “It is our hope that August 14th 2021 will see the induction of the Class of 2021 which will cover the period from 1981 to 2000.”

GTF/TFG Tennis Statement

I spoke to Giovanni about the names we could be seeing from the 1981 to 2000 year group “Next year will be from the 70s to early 90s, so you will hear of the [Joseph Apeletey] Atiso, Frank Offei and then the great Kotey.”

by Leroy Hawkson|TalksAfrica.com

Written by EDITORIAL STAFF

Hi, I am Leroy Hawkson, an up and coming sports journalist with over 4 years of experience in media working for the likes of University of Ghana-based Radio Univers (where I served as the Head of Production and Host of the station's sports show "Sports Express"), the National Media Commission (NMC) and ClassFM.
I am also a writer and researcher for GTV Sports+ show "Beyond the Pitch," producer of popular Ghana Facebook Live boxing show "KBOXtv Live" and Head of Sports of Talks Africa Media.
I am is passionate about the lesser-known or less financed sports in Ghana and would love to show Ghanaians the beauty of these sports to help develop them into powerhouses in the country and the world.

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