February, 2 2022.
With over 200 athletes and secondary school students registered for the ND Western/MoC Trials taking place on Friday 4th March at the University of Benin Sports Complex in Edo State, the stage is now set for A new generation of Nigerian athletes to be discovered at the event which is the first major talent hunt organized by Making of Champions (MoC) since 2018.
Founder Bambo Akani reiterated the organization'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 of the event, 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 such as Bowofoluwa Egbeyemi and Maria Umoibang.
ND Western’s Corporate Communications Executive, Sayo Jimi-Oluseye was optimistic that a talented pool of athletes from the Niger Delta community 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.
She said: “As Title Sponsor & 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 recognized champions in Nigeria and the world at large.”
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. Indeed 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.”
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 amongst others, recently secured track scholarships to the US and are already competing for their respective institutions.
It will be recalled that in 2015, MoC took Nigeria’s track and field space by storm with the Top Sprinter auditions, travelling across several cities including Lagos, Benin, Ibadan and Enugu to identify and train a new generation of Olympians for Nigeria, with former Nigeria internationals and Olympic medallists Deji Aliu, Francis Obikwelu, Glory Alozie and Uchenna Emedolu serving as judges at the auditions.
MoC Track Club was thereafter established in 2016 to train and nurture some of the athletes discovered from the Top Sprinter Auditions in 2015 such as Jerry Jakpa, as well as the Top Sprinter Championships in 2016 such as Emmanuel Ojeli and Blessing Oladoye, who have all gone on to represent Nigeria and win both national and international laurels. ND Western has now stepped in to play a leading role in the journey to discover Nigeria’s next generation of top sprinters for the decade and beyond!
ND Western is the first corporate organisation to be confirmed as a Title Sponsor in MoC's talent hunt initiative. More than half of the over 200 registered Athletes will be traveling from Delta State for the ND Western/MoC Trials, with many of them from ND Western’s host communities such as Ughelli and Utorogu. Athletes at the Trials will be divided into Youth (U17) and Junior (U20) Categories and will be competing for medals across Boys & Girls 100m, 200m & 400m events, with the immense opportunity to be spotted by ND Western and Making of Champions for the future!