Nigeria: MTN Champs Athletics Tournaments Designed for Great Success - Official

10 November 2023

The championship is in three age categories: cadets (under-14), youths (under-17), and juniors (under-20), and scheduled for two venues in Ibadan.

The "MTN Champs" is a national development intervention that will surely achieve its lofty aims, an official of the event's sponsors says.

Ifeanyi Udom, MTN's Senior Manager, Sales and Trade Development, South West, said on Wednesday in Ibadan that the championship was established to unearth and groom future talents.

"These are talents we expect will put Nigeria on the world stage," she said at a news conference to unveil the Ibadan leg of the MTN Champs Series.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ibadan leg, which is the third in the four-series competition, is scheduled from Thursday to Saturday at two venues.

They will hold the competition at the Lekan Salami Stadium and the University of Ibadan Sports Complex.

NAN reports that the secondary school athletics championship, which received nearly 4,000 entries from over 2,000 athletes, had been earlier held this year in Benin and Uyo.

Mr Udom spoke extensively about MTN's dreams regarding athletics in Nigeria.

"This is by supporting the strong desire of young Nigerians to excel both in academics and sports."

She added that MTN's sponsorship of the competition was consistent with the brand's history of supporting and grooming local sports activities, as evident in various sponsorship activities.

"MTN's involvement in athletics will no doubt produce a new breed of athletes who will bear the Nigerian flag on the world stage in order to make athletics the second most popular sport in the minds of Nigerians."

Speaking also at the event's unveiling, Raheem Fatai, Director of Sports Facilities at the Oyo State Sports Council, promised the state government's full support for the event.

Segun Omodunni, the secretary of the Athletics Committee of the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), while speaking at the occasion, said it was important that the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) be involved in the competition.

"We are happy to be partnering with the Making of Champions (MoC) in staging a competition of this magnitude.

"Therefore, we appreciate MTN and MoC for the good job they're doing.

"We're partnering with MoC by mobilising the schools, and this is evident in the huge number of entries received.

"But this also shows the need for more competitions.

"MTN has taken a step, and we appeal to other organisations to also step in so that our students are happy and also made more useful to the country."

Taldang Tanimu, an assistant secretary with the AFN, also said the Federation was committed to providing the technical support required for the competition.

"We will not only do that but also ensure adjustments and improvements where necessary," he said.

Speaking also, MoC's Country Manager, Deji Ogeyingbo, said it was important to move the competition across the country to discover and groom talents that could soon make the nation proud.

He assured that World Athletics recognises the competition as the athletic sport's world governing body, as all times recorded are registered on the World Athletics database.

Others at the championship's unveiling included Olympic medallist Deji Aliu, who is the Nationwide Meet Director, MTN Champs, and sprinter Enoch Adegoke, who is the MTN Champs Ambassador for Ibadan.

NAN reports that competition at the championship is in three age categories of cadets (under-14), youths (under-17), and juniors (under-20).

The youth and junior competitions, as well as the finals, will be held at the Lekan Salami Stadium from Thursday to Saturday.

On the other hand, the University of Ibadan Sports Complex will on Thursday and Friday host the cadets' competition's 100 metres, 200m, 400m, and 4x100m heats.

It will also host the cadet competition's 100m semi-finals.


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