Nigeria’s foremost Sports Media and Management company Making of Champions (MoC) is set to hold its first major talent search since 2018, with the ND Western/MoC Trials billed to take centre stage on Saturday, March 4th, at the University of Benin Sports Complex in Edo State.

Indigenous Nigerian oil and gas company ND Western, having partnered with MoC since 2017 by awarding Student-Athlete scholarships to athletes of MoC Track Club, has decided to expand the scope of their partnership by sponsoring MoC’s latest quest to discover and develop Nigeria’s new generation of talents through the Athletics Trials.

ND Western is the first corporate organisation to be confirmed as a Title Sponsor in MoC’s talent hunt initiative which over the years has unearthed promising athletes that have gone on to represent the country at various levels.

ND Western’s Corporate Communications Executive, Sayo Jimi-Oluseye 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.”

Talented hurdler Miracle Thompson (far right) was one of the athletes discovered at the 2018 Making of Champions (MoC) Athletics Trials in Enugu.

MoC’s 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.

Speaking ahead of the competition in Benin, 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.”

Olympian Emmanuel Ojeli is one of the products of MoC’s Top Sprinter competition held in 2016.

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 and Joy Udo-Gabriel, 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 Paris 2024 and LA 2028 Olympics!

Youth (U17) and Junior (U20) Athletes who are interested in competing in the one-day event will feature in races across the 100m, 200m and 400m for boys and girls, and can now apply via the link here:


Yemi Olus is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.



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