Everyone for tennis! urges Nigerian-Irish Player coach
2019-05-01 16:09:19 -

By Chinedu Onyejelem


A Nigerian-Irish tennis player and coach has urged Ireland to support the sport’s growth by encouraging immigrants to play.


Nnamdi Ehirim, who is currently coaching in the US, added that Irish sport could reach out to younger people, immigrants included, by going into schools to create awareness, and provide support with equipment and clinics — especially where tennis is not popular.


The former coach in Ireland said the time he spent living here “contributed immensely to my work as I had the opportunity to give back to the society”.


He said the best times of his coaching career were over his seven fruitful years as a coach at the David Lloyd health club in Dublin, where he worked alongside youth prospect Sophia Derivan, and also at Dublin’s Castleknock Club, where he hit on occasion with Jennifer Timotin before returning to the USA.


“I currently work for Centercourt Athletic of Marlboro in New Jersey,” Ehirimtold Metro Éireann. “Since I arrived at Centercourt I have worked with many top boys and girls who went as far as getting scholarships and playing top positions for their various schools.”


He added that many of those in his coaching care are currently ranked nationally in their various categories.


Among them are Brianna Gibbs, a George Mason University student who is also a New Jersey sports award winner, and Sam Vagner of Naval Academy athletics, who was previously the number one singles player for Brooklyn Tech and also won the school’s most outstanding athlete award. Vagner, who is ranked 186 in the USA, is also a UTR 11 player, which is equivalent of an ITF player.


Ehirim also coaches university student Jack Kosiowroski, who won CCAA rookie of the week in February and Home News Tribune player of the year, as well as a host of other up-and-coming athletes.


Apart from working to establish himself as a top coach in America, Ehirim said he plans to help more tennis prospects from Nigeria while putting more efforts into his annual tennis clinics and foundation, which he currently runs every December in Nigeria’s Enugu Sports Club.

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