By Moses Omorogieva
Nigerian Olympian, Chioma Ajuwa has commended the efforts of Making of Champions (MoC) in building future athletes, with a call for its sustenance to promote the development of athletes in Nigeria.
Ajuwa made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday at the 3rd MoC Grand Prix holding at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATHEC), Lagos.
She said that many Nigerian athletes would have been lost to the streets if not for the support of the MoC.
She underscored the need for individuals and organisations to support and sponsor the programme for the development of athletes.
The Gold Medalist noted that the recent drab and inactivity of sporting events nationwide had prevented so many talented Nigerians from being discovered.
According to her, only competitions like the MoC can expose and help to effectively evaluate these hidden talents.
“I have to give kudos to MoC for this annual event. From what I am seeing here, without MoC, I wonder what would have become of some athletes here.
“I am happy for these athletes and I am grateful for how the MoC is improving and increasing athletes’ proficiency in Nigeria.
“I can see athletes who are hungry to compete and evaluate themselves for future competitions.
“This job should not be left for MoC alone. There should be such competitions every month or every two months to keep the athletes in better form. Sponsors should support their efforts to make Nigeria proud,” she said.
Ajuwa noted that only regular competitions would assist Nigerian athletes to be better prepared ahead of any major games like the Olympics.
“Olympic Games is not All African Games. It is a world championship where the best athletes compete.
“Our athletes are trying but I can’t see from our present level of preparedness those to win gold medal, except other countries are also bringing athletes like ours” she noted.
The Founder of MoC, Bambo Akani said that over 900 athletes from nine African countries were participating in the two-day event.
Akani said the number of athletes and nations were increased due to support and sponsorship by digital entertainment and sports technology company, BetKing and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria.
Commenting, Ruby Chuka, Head of Products and Marketing, BetKing, the partnership is a great move toward fulfilling our commitment to strengthen our communities.
“We recognise this event as an opportunity to support the development of sports in Nigeria and encourage our youths to engage in activities that have the potential to build our nation further.
“Supporting an event such as this enables us help Nigerian athletes who have struggled to find international standard competitions where they can hone their skills.
“We look forward to seeing athletes from the MoC Grand Prix event participate at the Olympics Games in Tokyo, and eventually stand on the podium proudly flying the Nigerian flag,” he said.