Airtel Sponsored Under-17 grassroots tournament to kick off

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For the fourth year running, the Airtel Africa Championship will provide an opportunity for budding stars around Africa to showcase their football skills and to gauge their raw talent against continental peers. Airtel announced today that the Airtel Rising Stars Africa Championship finals will take place in Fort Portal from the 19th to 23rd June 2014 in partnership with partnership with FUFA, Rwenzori Water and Arsenal FC.

The Airtel Rising Stars initiative, the biggest Under-17 grassroots tournament on the African continent, aims at identifying talent and nurturing upcoming footballers. This is one of the few football equal opportunity initiatives that targets boys and girls. Over the years, the Airtel Rising Stars initiative has yielded many success stories and has enabled several upcoming soccer talents to join Africa Premier League clubs and their countries’ national teams. The selected players would then get an opportunity to get the best-in-class sports training, during a residential clinic due to take place in Gabon this year is organized by Airtel and her partners.

Airtel’s Managing Director, Arindam Chakrabarty, said: “Airtel Rising Stars andThe Airtel Africa Championship are committed to growing grassroots football in Africa.  We believe emphatically that nurturing young talent is the means by which we will ensure the foundations of the game in this country stay strong.As one of the most unrelenting investment programs in grassroots sports in Uganda it would be great to see Ugandans cheer on the Airtel Rising Stars team that represents Uganda as the go to Gabon for the Soccer clinics.”

Minister of State for Housing Hon.SamEngola said: “, I would like to encourage the youth across Uganda to come out and participate in this program and showcase their potential not only nationally but on an international platform. I would also like to congratulate Airtel Uganda on partnering with FUFA, Rwenzori Water and to encourage them to work hand in hand in order to keep building football in the country and being role models for the youths.”

The Fourth Edition of the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) initiative has taken place in 16 countries across Africa with hundreds of thousands of youngsters taking part in the regional and national tournaments. The best teams of each country will be pitted against each other in the Airtel Africa Championship. The winning teams will receive the grand prize of USD 10,000 which will be put towards the players’ education. The teams representing Uganda will be selected from the regional games and finals that take place in the next few months across the country.

By designing a big stage for the teams and the future soccer stars, Airtel is inching closer to its objective of becoming the biggest and most consistent supporter of grassroots football in Africa.

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