By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
Over 200 athletes and secondary school students are expected to compete at the ND Western/MoC Trials on Friday, March 4, at the University of Benin Sports Complex, Edo State.
The event, aimed at discovering a new generation of Nigerian athletes, is the first major talent hunt organised by Making of Champions (MoC) since 2018.
In a virtual media parley held yesterday to herald the trials, MoC Founder/CEO, Bambo Akani, reiterated the company’s commitment towards discovering and developing the next generation of athletes that would make the country proud at the Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond.
He also appreciated the efforts of the title sponsors, indigenous Nigerian oil and gas company, ND Western, for partnering with MoC in their latest quest to raise champions for Nigeria, and for their continuous support through the years by awarding student-athlete scholarships to athletes of MoC Track Club. He listed some of the beneficiaries to include Bowofoluwa Egbeyemi and Maria Umoibang.
ND Western’s Corporate Communications Executive, Sayo Jimi-Oluseye, said she was optimistic that a talented pool of athletes from the Niger Delta would be fished out in the exercise, whilst also stating the commitment of ND Western in ensuring that athletes with potential are sponsored in future.
‘As title sponsor and partner for the MoC Athletics Trials, we are really excited to be part of this initiative that would help discover and develop the next athletic champions of Nigeria. The trials is also a great opportunity to identify young talents from our host communities trying to find a balance between their education and sporting interests.
‘We are optimistic that in the near future, products of this trials will be recognised champions in Nigeria and the world at large,’ she stated. Speaking ahead of the competition, MoC Founder/CEO, Bambo Akani, noted the reason for the trials. He said: “We are excited about the return of the MoC Athletics Trials as there is a need to continually replenish our pool of talents.
‘It has been a while since our last trials in 2018; we have faced different challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, which has contributed to our inability to host the trials until now.
‘We are thrilled to see one of our key sponsors and partners, ND Western, take the initiative to support this year’s trials as title sponsors, reaffirming their relentless commitment to impacting lives by supporting the discovery of young talented athletes across Nigeria, and in the process, directly impacting their host communities.
This will play a pivotal role in unearthing Nigeria’s next generation of athletes for the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 Olympic Games,’ he said.
MoC last held its trials in 2018, moving across several cities at the time such as Ughelli, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Lagos. In an exciting turn of events, some of the athletes that were discovered from the 2018 trials such as 100m prodigy, Favour Ashe and promising 100m hurdler, Miracle Thompson, among others, recently secured track scholarships to the U.S. and are already competing for their respective institutions.