A top-notch indigenous Nigerian oil and gas company, ND Western, has renewed its longstanding relationship with Making of Champions, Nigeria’s foremost Sports Media & Management Company by sponsoring two MoC Student-Athletes, Bowofoluwa Egbeyemi, and Maria Umoibang, for the 2022 athletics season.
For the past four years, ND Western has sponsored 21-year old Egbeyemi with a Student-Athlete Scholarship, covering his tuition, books, accommodation, living, training, and competition expenses as he completed his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Ibadan.
They have now decided to extend his sponsorship further for a year, and expand their sponsorship portfolio by adding a promising female athlete, 17-year old Umoibang, whose fledgling athletics career has grown in leaps and bounds since joining MoC in 2018.
Following the completion of his University degree, Egbeyemi now hopes to transition to professional athletics, while Umoibang is receiving her first student-athlete sponsorship as she enters her final year of secondary school.
Their (ND Western) sponsorships for the 2022 Athletics season will cover the athletes’ training, apparel, gym membership, travel to competitions, supplements, dietary support, or stipends, full access to MoC’s coaching, physio, and support team in Lagos, Nigeria.
ND Western’s sponsorship for Umoibang is particularly timely, as it will also cover her tuition and exam registration fees as she prepares to write her senior secondary school examinations while also training to qualify for this year’s World U20 Championships in Colombia in August.
Speaking on the laudable initiative, ND Western’s Corporate Communications Executive, Sayo Jimi-Oluseye said, “We are glad to extend Bowofoluwa Egbeyemi’s sponsorship and also add Maria Umoibang as a second beneficiary for 2022. Within the time that Bowofolouwa has been under our sponsorship, he has made impressive representation of Nigeria at international competitions including running a personal best of 10.66secs in 100m which he achieved last year.
“We are ever so proud of Bowo and his promising athletics career. His all-around success in academics and sports has encouraged us to take on a Maria as a 2nd Student-Athlete. Maria has already shown how much of a bright talent she is, running alongside the nation’s best at the Nigeria Olympics Trials at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos in July 2021. With a population of approximately 200m people, Nigeria certainly has talents in abundance to compete among the best in the world and also win laurels in medals.
“ND Western believes that sponsoring these promising athletes will help project Nigeria as a leader in sports. Recall that the likes of Chioma Ajunwa, won Nigeria’s first and only individual Olympics gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, while most recently, Ese Brume also won a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Furthermore, Favour Ofili, Udodi Onwuzurike Imaobong Nse Uko, and many others excelled at the World Athletics U-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last year August, winning medals and breaking records.
“We are committed to helping both Bowo and Maria prepare adequately for the 2022 U-20 World Athletics Championships and the 2024 Olympics. Both competitions will give them the opportunity to fly Nigeria’s flag high.
“Sport is a universal language that has the power to unify the nation, spur national development while also empowering and motivating the youth. This is why we have continued to work with MoC to discover and bring the best out of these young ones, knowing that the government cannot achieve this alone.
“This latest initiative further reiterates ND Western’s goal to create a sustainable corporate social responsibility collaboration model that would positively and meaningfully affect lives, institutions, and communities across our great country, Nigeria.
“It is our earnest desire that Bowo and Maria toe the path of many great athletes both home and abroad who have broken records and also set new records too. As Micheal Jordan said, “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” So, as they navigate through academics and competitions I encourage them to let the Drive for Excellence be their watchword”
Also speaking on the sponsorship, MoC’s Founder & CEO, Bambo Akani said, “We are happy to renew our relationship with ND Western, who have been consistent in their commitment to delivering value to their community over the years. We are even more excited with their decision to add a female athlete to their sponsorship portfolio in Maria Umoibang. This goes to show the company prioritises gender equality amongst other laudable values.”
Egbeyemi’s progression in his Athletics career has been steady throughout his time under ND Western’s Sponsorship, improving on his 100m time from 11.08s to win National Youth (U18) Bronze in 2017, to 10.84s to qualify for Team Nigeria to the African U20 Champs in 2019, and most recently a new Personal Best of 10.66s at the 3rd MoC Grand Prix in March 2021.
Meanwhile, Umoibang has emerged as one of the most exciting young sprinting talents in Nigeria. Her 100m personal best of 11.73s in the semis of National Olympic Trials ranked her as the 30th fastest Youth (U18) Girl globally in 2021, while her wind-aided 11.59s (+2.7m/s) to finish 7th in the Final placed her as the 20th fastest Youth Girl globally under all conditions in 2021.
MoC Track Club remains committed to discovering and developing student-athletes who can be trained and supported to deliver medals for Nigeria on the world stage while also ensuring the furthering of their secondary and tertiary education.