Photos: Ghana’s tennis heroes inducted into Hall of Fame

Author: Beatrice Laryea
Ebenezer Odartey Annan receiving his citation from the Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi

Some of the biggest personalities involved in the development of tennis in Ghana over the last four decades were honoured at the maiden induction ceremony of Ghana Tennis Hall of Fame, with the Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF) honouring 30 personalities for their selflessness and dedication which brought honour to the nation.

 
At a colourful ceremony at the tennis arena of the Accra Sports stadium on Wednesday, August 14, 16 personalities were presented with sashes accompanied with citations, while 14 others were honoured posthumously. It was organised by the Tennis Foundation Ghana, an NGO, in collaboration with the GTF.
 
Madam Victoria Dowuona Palomeras (left) shared a tear after receiving her citation
 
Among the first batch of inductees were former national player and onetime Davis Cup captain, Anthony David Dove; Edmund Annan, one of the country’s most successful administrators during whose leadership Ghana reached the Euro-Africa Zone of the Davis Cup; George Gamel, John Atiso, Paul Dowuona, Samuel Dowuona, Victoria Dowuona Palomeras, Ebenezer Odartey Annan and Joseph Apeletey.

The rest are former national star and administrator Peter Annan (Grandmaster), 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 Leader Clend Sowu, Benjamin Borboryoe Nartey, Charles Neville Hill, N.K. Asigbetse, John Ampah and Jonathan Odonkor.
 
The Director General of the NSA, Prof Peter Twumasi (right) presenting the citation to Anthony Dove

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.

Speaking at the event, the Director General of the National Sports Authority, Prof. Peter Twumasi called on other federations to emulate the initiative of the Roger Crawford’s Tennis Foundation Ghana by honouring and celebrating their heroes to encourage the youth.
 
President of the Tennis Foundation Ghana, Roger Crawford presenting the sash to one of the inductees

“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 offer their best in their various careers,” he said.

For his part, the President of the Tennis Foundation Ghana, Roger Crawford, noted that men and women who thrived in their endeavours and made the nation proud needed to be celebrated.
 
 
When he took his turn to address the gathering, President of the Ghana Tennis Federation, Isaac Aboagye Duah reiterated his vision for making the GTF a worthy body of influence within the sporting circles.
 

“Our recent successes, such as that at Davis Cup where Golden rackets made up of Captain Fred Egyir, Isaac Nortey, Herman Abban, Johnson Acquah and Benjamin Palm topped Group 4 in Congo and gotten us to group 3 is clear testament to our far we can go when effective collaboration is exhibited,” said Mr Duah.

 
He congratulated the inductees saying: “The inductees gathered here today, represent the golden generation in the sport's history of our dear nation. It is however sad to note that, unlike their colleagues in other nations where there are considerable national support to ease their retirement lifestyle, our neglect worsens their plight.”
 

He continued:  “Today's public show of gratitude for their tireless efforts and patriotism is a new page that will be cherished by all. It is my fervent hope that all of us here present will help in making the ceremony a memorable one.

 
Mr Eddie Annan, onetime president of the GTF, delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of the inductees and 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, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi; Nii Armaah Owiredu I, who represented the Osu Traditional Council; President of the GTF, Mr Isaac Duah, SWAG President, Mr Kwabena Yeboah, the Cultural Attachee of the American Embassy, Elizabeth Ategou; the Deputy Ambassador of Spain to Ghana, Mr Raphael Rodriguez Dos Ponga and Esther Arewa, a representative from the Nigerian High Commission.