HOPING for a better change.

The Golden Friendship Tennis Club had elected Engr. Noel Oclarit as its new president with the hope of trailblazing another episode of youth tennis development in Cagayan de Oro.

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Known as a multi-sports lover, Oclarit gets the backing of Rene Fuguso (vice president/internal), Victor Araneta (vice president/external), Lolong Banghal (treasurer), Marivic Maglinao (secretary), Allan Olavides (PRO), Engr. Loloy Mumar (sgt. at arms) and Leo Dalen (auditor) as GFTC's new set of officers for this year.

"In a short time nga amo siyang na-ila, matawag nga sports-loving kaayo kini si Engr. Oclarit kay gani dili lang tennis apan lakip na sa uban nga sports supportive usab kaayo ang bag-ong presidente sa GFTC," said former PBL cager Marlon "Pinggoy" Castro whose heart now shifts to lawn tennis as his regular sports.

As a start, GFTC will hold the "1st Mayor Dongkoy Emano Tennis Encounter" on Aug. 28-29 with club representatives from as far as Iligan, Initao, Malaybalay City, Lanao del Norte, Valencia City, San FRancisco, Surigao City, Lianga, Kapatagan, Naga City-Cebu, Patin-ay and Ozamis City invited to see action.

In his invitation letter, Engineer Oclarit states that the city fiesta sports activity aims to provide a venue for tennis players to enjoy camaraderie with fellow netters and practice sportsmanship in further enhancing tennis skills.

"The activity will also remind us of how useful and indelible to our mind, our GFTC courts are especially for youth tennis development," added one insider of the age-old Golden Friendship Tennis Club that has stood through decades the test of time.

One of the most memorable chapters in the club's history was when former banker (BPI)-turned Misamis Occidental politician Allan Laput took the cudgel as one of GFTC's recent past presidents.

Under Laput's leadership, the GFTC courts became the breeding ground of the country's best tennisters such as Jun Alerri, Danny Sajonia, Joseph Estroga, Greg Mosqueda, Jun Lumacang, Marisue Jacutin, Karen Eden, Kakay Almirante and even RP's current tennis prince Francis Casey Alcantara, among others.

Now Engr. Oclarit, his fellow GFTC mainstays agreed, seems determined to follow in Laput's legendary footsteps.

"Sa una man gud, ang lawn tennis ang matawag nga pinakabibo nga sport sa Cagayan de Oro hadiin paspas ang development sa mga bata. Now is the right time to start another viable development program for the youth," one of Laput's former disciples told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.