The Sports Fraternity Loses Tonye Harry

The sports world has been thrown into mourning on the weed hours of Thursday as they lost one of Nigerians finest sportsman, sport promoter and enthusiast, Rt. Hon. Tonye Ezekiel Harry, the immediate past speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly.

Information made available to the media indicates that Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry was having his early morning exercise when he slum, at his residence, he was thereafter flown to France (Paris) in particular and for his intensity of his breathing rate he was diverted to Algeria, where he died in the Algeria clinic.

Tonye Harry is Tennis to Rivers youths. Another name for Tonye Harry is Tennis. This is because there is no day past that Tonye Harry will not play Tennis except the weather is not friendly or he is not in Port Harcourt.

For his love of the game of tennis he has an academy, his Tennis academy has become the main stay of youth tennis stars not just in Port Harcourt but the Nigeria federation.

Till his death, he is the first vice president of the Nigeria Tennis federation (NTF) elected by the Nigeria Tennis fraternity and is well respected because of his enormous contribution to the game.

Many may not know this part of Tonye Harry; he is also a good goaltender and has kept a clean slate in his secondary school days. He actually played for second division side here in Port Harcourt.

His football career was cut short, his exploit as a goalkeeper ignites the spirit of a sportman in him on till he later found the game of lawn tennis interesting, which he eventually used in replacing his former love, goal keeping.

He displayed his goalkeeping skill to the public glare when the Rivers State House of Assembly tackled the state ALGON team at Sharks stadium. But for his brilliancy in goal, the ALgon team led by Oji Ngofa of Eleme Local Government would have gotten the upper hand that day. Tonye Harry inspired the legislators to claim that encounter.

Much to his credit, he had produced Africa junior lawn tennis No. 3 and Nigeria junior lawn tennis No. 1 through his academy. He had also sponsored lots of junior future tennis hopefuls in the game of lawn tennis and had promised to extend his good gesture in sponsoring lot more before meeting his sudden death.

The Lawn Tennis section in Port Harcourt club 1928 is not complete without the mention of Tonye Harry’s name amongst it notable members.

To demonstrate his sincere love for the game of lawn tennis Tonye Harry has established an annual lawn Tennis tournament to be played amongst tennis faithfuls at Port Harcourt club 1928. This he has been single handedly sponsoring till his death.

Even as a law maker, he finds time to compete with his comptemporaries at the Port Harcourt lawn Tennis section regularly. He had won lots of laurel in the sport, so it is not wrong to address him Mr. Lawn Tennis.

For his prowess in the sport and vast contribution to the Port Harcourt club lawn tennis section made him an honorary life member of the section.

The Newswriter sports desk join others to bid farewell to Tonye Harry as he journey to his heavenly abode. ###

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