With most athletes across Nigeria waiting with bated breath to see who Making of Champions (MoC) would select this year, the club has doused the suspense and announced that five new athletes will join its track club in Lagos.
Blessing Obarierhu, Blossom Akpedeye, Glory Nyenke, Saheed Jimoh and Segun Akhigbe are the five new entrants into the club, most of whom will now train with the club’s Head Coach in Lagos, Deji Aliu. It will now bring the tally of athletes already in the club to 13, an increase from the 8 who joined last year as the pioneer athletes.
For some of these athletes, it is an opportunity of a lifetime as they will get to train and study simultaneously while pursuing their Athletics’ dreams. Also they stand a very good chance of getting Student-Athlete Scholarships awarded to them to study at a Nigerian University while training towards the 2020 Olympics!
Already, three athletes in the club: Jerry Jakpa, Joy Udo-Gabriel and Chiamaka Egbochinam are beneficiaries of the student-scholarship awards sponsored by multinational companies. Udo-Gabriel currently studying at the University of Lagos and Jakpa who just gained admission to the University of Port-Harcourt are both sponsored by Arco Group, with their welfare all taken care of.
It was quite evident the impact the scholarship is making as the duo stormed to double titles at the 2016 Top Sprinter.
The other athlete on a student scholarship is Egbochinam who is still in secondary school and currently the fastest 15-year old in Nigeria with a Personal Best of 12.08s in the 100m. Egbochinam is on a two-year scholarship bankrolled by Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company (SNEPCo), NNPC and their co-venturers.
These new athletes can hope to emulate their colleagues already in the club enjoying varying benefits that comes with representing Making of Champions. The athletes will get to travel to different meets across Nigeria, such as the AFN Golden League and National Trials, with MoC sponsoring their travel, accommodation and feeding whenever representing the Track Club! 2017 promises to be exciting as some of them may even be in the frame to represent Nigeria at Youth (U18), Junior (U20) or Senior levels!
Below is a brief bio of the new athletes joining the MoC track club:
Nyenke caught the eye at the 2015 Top Sprinter auditions in Enugu, where she impressed the coaches and got a ticket to the Lagos finals. She went on to win three medals: Silver in the 400m, two GOLDs in the 4x100m and 4x400m.
Having completed her secondary education in 2016, Nyenke represented her state of origin, Rivers at the recently held National Youth Games, clinching Silver in the 200m and placing 4th in the 400m.
Such is her burgeoning talent, MoC has relocated her from PH to Lagos and is sponsoring her JAMB exam preparation for entry to University next year!
From the time she was discovered in Enugu, Nyenke has improved further and will no doubt be happy that the MoC club is bringing her in, as she aims to become even better.
By all means Obarierhu is a very much improved athlete. Just a year after she competed in the Youth Girls 400m at the Benin Top Sprinter auditions, in 2016 she stepped things up to win the Junior Girls title.
Almost similar to what Wayde Van Niekerk’s did at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Obarierhu showed that the outside lane doesn’t really matter, storming to victory from lane 8 to clinch the Junior 400m title.
That was an eye-catching performance at the Teslim Balogun stadium, and one that didn’t go unnoticed, with MoC track club drafting her in as one of the latest athletes to join.
MoC will also be sponsoring Blessing’s JAMB and WAEC exam preparations for entry to University next year.
Akpedeye is the youngest athlete joining the club at the age of 14, and is one athlete that could lighten up the track in future.
A student of Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos State, Akpedeye previously lived in the United States before relocating back to Nigeria to complete her Secondary School education.
She was one of the standout athletes at the 2016 Top Sprinter, dominating her races in the Youth Girls’ category, going on to clinch four GOLD medals in the 100m, 200m, 100m Hurdles and the 4x100m.
Akpedeye who is one of the newest athletes representing MoC, will continue training with her current coach, Gani Adenuga.
Formerly training with the Akhigbe track club which is incidentally named after his late Dad, Segun is one of the new athletes selected into the MoC track club.
The younger of the Akhigbe sprinting brothers, Segun is primarily a quarter-miler but occasionally competes in the 200m.
This is not his first foray into MoC, helping Team Making of Champions (MoC) win two medals at the 2015 Lagos Relays, competing in both the Boys’ 4x100m and the 4x200m, as they clinched Bronze and GOLD.
Hopefully he will win more medals for the club in the years to come.
Jimoh is another quarter-miler joining the MoC track club, and just like Segun, he was formerly training with the Akhigbe track club.
Having qualified for the Lagos Top Sprinter finals in 2015 through the Ibadan auditions, Jimoh did not make the final of the 400m race then. However he came back stronger in 2016, and qualified for the Junior Boys 400m final, narrowly missing out on the podium finishing 4th.
Just like Segun, Jimoh has once represented MoC, running the anchor leg in the quartet who won GOLD in the 4x200m at the 2015 Lagos relays, clocking the overall fastest time of 1:34.15.
A student of Lagos State Polytechnic where he studies Mechatronics, Jimoh will no doubt be happy that he has been selected to run for MoC.
On behalf of everyone at MoC, we would like to say many congratulations to all 5 athletes selected to join the Club, and wish them well in both their academic and athletic careers in 2017 and beyond!
Would your company like to partner with MoC to award Scholarships to any of our Athletes (just as Shell & ARCO Group have)? Please do reach out to us at [email protected] – we have up to 10 Athletes whom we are still seeking sponsors for, and many more Athletes on our shortlist to join the Club – individuals wishing to support should also get in touch!