September 11, 2008

Williams Sisters to make first joint visit to Africa

The Williams sisters, in a meeting at the Plaza Athenee Hotel in Manhattan (New York) confirmed their visit for Nov. 10 to Nov 12,’’ the coordinator of the visit, Mr. Godwin Kienka, said Tuesday.

Mr. Kienka, who runs the International Tennis Academy in Lagos and publishes a tennis magazine - Tennis Africa, said the sisters would be coming with their mother, Oracene, as well as sister and manager Isha Price, trainers and other staffers.

He said the sisters would fly to the commercial city of Lagos directly from Doha, the capital of Qatar, after playing in the last tournament on the WTA calendar in that city. Mr. Kienka said the final confirmation of the visit was made during the New York meeting this week, and that Serena’s clothing sponsor Nike, as well as Wilson racquet and bag sponsors for both, are also interested in supporting the project.

The theme of the historic visit will be ’’Touching 1000 lives’’, adding that in addition to the sisters adopting an orphanage for sports programmes, ’’they will play an exhibition, run a short clinic and impact (on) 1000 youths.’’ It would be Venus’ first visit to Africa, whereas Serena had been to Ghana and Senegal. Meanwhile, Mr. Kienka said a committee to plan the visit had been set up, with Chief A.K. Horsefall, former boss of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as chairman.

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