Over the weekend, residents of Kampala and surrounding areas were treated to a rare touch of talent when central region-based teams competed in the Airtel Rising Stars regional tournament held at Wankulukuku Stadium in Rubaga.
The games that took place on Saturday and Sunday saw Spartans boys and Uganda Martyrs girls emerge victors and receive trophies, certificates, balls, kits and a cash prize of UGX 1,000,000 each. The first runners up – St. Mary’s team boys and Alphenix team girls – took home trophies, certificates, and a cash prize of UGX 500,000 each.
25 boys and 32 girls that exhibited remarkable talent were selected by FUFA scouts to represent Central region in the national championships that will be played in Lira district in October this year.
Speaking at the end of the regional games, Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Mr Anwar Soussa said the ARS platform, over the past five seasons, has been a medium of talent discovery for young stars, some of whom have gone on to play for different clubs in Uganda as well as the national team.
“Since its introduction back in 2001, Airtel Rising Stars has played a major role in the nurturing of remarkable talent. We are proud to see that the Airtel Rising Stars initiative has established itself as a strong feeder program for the national team,” he added.
The Guest of honor and Vice president of FUFA, Mr. Darius Mugoya congratulated the winning teams and thanked Airtel for its continued commitment to the development and empowerment of Ugandan youth through this soccer initiative.
“Our youth have the potential to be great contributors to Uganda’s development, provided that there is appropriate investment in them. The ARS initiative is one of the ways in which we can instil qualities like discipline and hard work into them,” he said.
“I am proud to be associated with such an initiative,” he added. The soccer talent search program will end in a fashionable football camp for select top talents who will emerge from the respective regions and will be mentored by professional football coaches and players.