Thursday, 1 November 2012

We love Nigeria, we are no Nigerians - Venus and Serena Williams


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From left, Serena, Venus and Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos State yesterday.

VENUS and Serena Williams say they would have been happy to be Nigerians but are proud to be citizens of the United States of America.
There had been controversy surrounding the real origin of the famous tennis duo but the sisters chose a press conference they addressed in Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday, to declare that they are Americans.
Before yesterday, speculations were rife that the Williams sisters had their roots in Badagary, Lagos State of Nigeria.
While reacting to this at the Federal Palace Hotel conference room in Lagos, Venus, who reacted on behalf of the family, told Tribunesport that there was no need to debate their  American roots.
"We cannot rule out the possibilities of having a link with Africa, but the truth of the matter is that we are Americans," she said affirmatively.
The tennis icons also described their visit to Nigeria as amazing and exciting, adding that it was a great experience and honour for them to be in the country, especially on the project of empowering young girls in tennis.
Venus said: "It is so exciting and amazing that I am here in Nigeria for the first time and especially helping young girls achieve greatness in future".
Younger sister, Serena said: "I am proud to be part of the great journey to this great country to support the country and encourage young girls to be great.”
The Williams sisters stated that the sweet memories of their visit to Nigeria despite all they have heard about the country will make them want to repeat the visit again and again. The duo will visit schools today for inspirational talks to young girls, attend a gala in the evening before the exhibition match tomorrow at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club.
The Williams sisters had earlier in the day paid a courtesy visit to the Lagos State governor, Mr Raji Fashola at Marian Government House. Meanwhile, about two hundred school children from various schools attended the coaching clinic organised by the tennis section of Ikoyi Club 1938 as part of the tour of Lagos by the duo of Serena and Venus Williams.
The kids, who highly delighted by the presence of the international tennis icons were taken through the rudiments of the game at the clubs tennis court and witnessed by numerous tennis followers.
Speaking with the children aged between 8 and 16 years, urged them to be focused and see the game of tennis as an avenue to become somebody in life and that they need total concentration if they really want to go far .
While speaking, the Chairman, Ikoyi Club 1938 Richard Giwa-Osagie said they were glad to have the two great tennis players in the country and in the club in particular.
The captain, tennis section, Billy Joe Ekwunife having expressed gladness over the visit informed that the idea was to encourage kids at the youth level and also to have self confidence that nothing is impossible.
The however could not hide their excitment at seeing the ladies as they milled round them to take photographs.

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