Although it’s been a tough year, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Oil and Gas company ND Western has given Bowofoluwa Egbeyemi a reason to smile after extending their sponsorship of the Making of Champions (MoC) sprinter by one year, having initially sponsored him over a period of three years.
As such, the 20-year old who is in his fourth year at the University of Ibadan where he is studying Mechanical Engineering, will receive the full support of ND Western until his graduation from the institution next year.
ND Western’s sponsorship has played a pivotal role in Egbeyemi’s Athletics career over the years as it has afforded the youngster the opportunity to focus on his education, being an exceptionally brilliant student who made straight As in his Secondary School Certificate Examinations, and has also maintained good grades in the university.
Egbeyemi appeared on MoC’s radar after finishing 3rd in the Youth category at the 2016 Top Sprinter Finals, having taken his destiny into his hands as he made his way to the Teslim Balogun Stadium – venue of the competition – straight from the WAEC Examination hall. His resilience paid off as he was recruited into the club, officially becoming the first male Youth athlete to join the MoC Track Club in 2017.
It was this remarkable combination of academic excellence and athletic giftedness that resulted in him being awarded a three-year Student-Athlete Scholarship by ND Western Limited shortly after joining MoC Track Club!
Competing at the National Youth Championships as a then 17-year old in 2017, he put in a great effort to clinch Bronze in the Boys’ 100m, going under 11s for the first time in his career with a then Personal Best (PB) of 10.93s.
In 2018 he was a 100m semifinalist at the National Junior Trials in Ozoro, running a PB of 10.81s at the Championships. He went on to represent his school later that year, competing in the 100m and 4x100m at the West African University Games in Port-Harcourt.
Egbeyemi powered his way into the National team in 2019. Being his last year as a Junior (U20) Athlete, it was make or bust when he went to Ilaro for the National Junior Trials, propelled by the quest to make his first Nigerian team, for the 2019 African U20 Championships in Cote d’Ivoire!
He put up an impressive performance against a very strong field, racing through in the 100m final to finish 4th, which earned him a place in the relay team. Although he wasn’t eventually part of the 4x100m team that won GOLD for Nigeria, the trip to Abidjan is one he would never forget! Thanks to the support from ND Western, he was flown back to Nigeria immediately after the competition as he needed to urgently report for Industrial Training (IT) in Lagos!
Although it has been very demanding effectively combining his Academics and Athletics. especially for an Engineering student, his hard work and ND Western’s support is gradually paying off as Egbeyemi continues to train under the tutelage of Musa Deji, MoC’s Coach in Ibadan!
Seeing his scholarship extended by another year, an excited Egbeyemi said: “I wasn’t expecting it, but I just had my fingers crossed. I am really glad ND Western came through from me.”
What this scholarship extension means, is that ND Western will be taking care of Egbeyemi’s University education till he finishes, and it is a gesture his parents really appreciate, especially coming in a period Covid-19 has ground world economies to a halt.
“We are excited that they have decided to stick with us. We thought they weren’t going to continue because of the pandemic, but things have turned out great. We are very grateful,” an elated Pastor and Pastor Mrs Egbeyemi said.
Coming off an injury at the end of the 2019 season, he anticipated the 2020 season to make a full transition into the senior category. However with the way the global pandemic disrupted the sporting calendar, 2020 was more or less discounted. What better way for Egbeyemi to start 2021, than with a new scholarship.