Airtel Nigeria has announced the commencement of the 4th edition of Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) U-17 male and female football tournament.
The Airtel Rising Stars is a grassroots football talent search programme aimed at identifying and nurturing budding soccer talent from the grassroots onto a national stage, according to the mobile phone company.
Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, flanked by ex Super Eagles and Falcons Stars including Peter Rufai, Ann Chiejine, Chioma Ajunwa, Garba Lawal and Mutiu Adepoju, noted that the soccer initiative is the company’s contribution to sports development and youth empowerment in Nigeria.
“Airtel wants to be an integral part of local communities and our association with football has strong elements of creating positive change and engagement. ARS is our contribution to building and sustaining a rich pool of football talents for the Super Eagles and Falcons,” he said.
According to him, “it is on record that the Airtel Rising Stars Football programme has produced exceptional talents some of whom are: Musa Mohammed Shehu- Captain Golden Eaglets U17- (ARS 2011); Zahradden Bello- U17- ARS (2012); AL Hassan Ibrahim Abdullahi- U17- ARS (2011); Muri Lawal- Sunshine Stars FC Akure- ARS (2011) and Josephine Mathias- Falconets, Pelican Stars FC Calabar- ARS (2011).”
The fourth edition of the Airtel Rising Stars programme will be played in different regions across the country, culminating in the National Finals, a three-day soccer fiesta. Thereafter, the successful male and female teams will travel to Gabon to compete for continental glory in Africa’s biggest youth football tournament with participation from 17 countries, the company said.
The programme will kick off with the opening of screening camps in five locations, where participants will be screened for age compliance and allowed to showcase their talents. The selected male and female teams in each camp will go ahead to Lagos to challenge for honours at the national finals, says Airtel.
Registration for the programme ends on June 27, 2014. The registration forms will be available at Airtel Express shops nationwide.