Abuja heats up as athletes set to burn track in MTN Champs grand finale

By Joan Nnenna Iwuchukwu

The final events of this year MTN Champs will start on Friday at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja with 42 athletes participating in the two days event.

The event which started few months ago –had been to Ibadan, Benin, Uyo with over 7,000 athletes showcasing their precocious talents with the final chosen one will be picked for Scholarship and Academy programme by January.

Disclosing this Bambo Akani, Founder and Making of Champs told our correspondent that “the journey started 10 years ago. We saw a gap in the AFN and the need to fill the vacuum. We went to Jamaica to learn . The programme is to develop talents and turn to champions> Most of the athletes we discovered as went on to represent Nigeria in several international meets like Emmanuel Ojeme”

He also stated that the MTN CHAMPS will be the first competitions in Nigeria to utilize the world class Roster Athletics app, to ensure that all Athlete results and School/Team scoring to decide the Titles in each city cannot be compromised.

Speaking also at the event ,AFN secretary general, Rita Mosindi poured encomiums on the organizer of the event for the laudable and giant strides they are taking to reposition athletics in the country.

According to her, “ it’s a long journey. We had issues with age-cheats and doping in the past, very rampant. But as of today, we are having only one case of doping on our hand.

“I’m appealing to all our athletes to take Anti-Doping lessons. Most of the coaches are kill-joy and are the ones encouraging the athletes to spice their system with substance.

“AFN is proud to partner with MTN Champs and we will continue to associate with them for what they are doing should be supported by all well meaning Nigerians”

In its good will message, the Nigerian School Sports Federation represented by Funsho Oba disclosed that Nigerian athletes are talented and well endowed if given the chance and urged sports administrators to return to the schools to discover the talents.

Chief Marketing Officer of MTN, Adia Sowho assured that the organization will continue to support the venture and uplift the youths of the country to greater heights.

The ultimate goal of MTN CHAMPS is to re-ignite grassroot Athletics talent search across Nigeria to discover and develop the Athletes that will deliver global medals and become future sporting legends for the nation. To this end, the Grand Prize of Season 1 will be full 1-year Sponsorships for 10 Athletes discovered at MTN CHAMPS to join MoC Athletics Academy in Lagos, which MTN is supporting as Lead Sponsor in 2024, to enable the best talents discovered earn College or High School Scholarships in US or Jamaica, and to train for a chance to one day represent Nigeria at future global competitions.

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