The 2019 Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) regional tournaments climaxed last weekend in Masindi with Kitara and Western region qualifiers.
Each of the eight FUFA regions selected the cream from the qualifiers to battle in the finals due September 4-7 in Kampala region at the StarTimes stadium, Lugogo.
In the Kitara region, Kiryandongo’s Erima Soccer Academy defeated Kabalega Secondary School 2-1 while Fort Portal’s Tooro Queens prevailed over Panyadoli 4-3 in penalty kicks after normal time ending 1 – 1. For the Western region, Shuuku High School beat Kisoro based Young Simba 3-2 in post-match penalties while Unique High School was the Boys’ champions. The tournament that began in June also incorporated a massive Corporate Social Responsibility activity in which the largest 4G telecommunication network in the country handed over goal posts, soccer nets and balls to 40 schools countrywide as a way of keeping the football talent alive even after the tournament and further facilitate the development of the sport within schools and communities.
Football teams in Lira, Masindi, Kabale, Kampala, Soroti and Luweero have all benefitted from the initiative over the past two months.
Besides the handover of sports equipment, Airtel-Uganda also carried out sickle cells testing across the 8 FUFA regions in which the tournament was played.
“Airtel-Uganda has for the past three years partnered with the Buganda Kingdom and the Ministry of Health to create awareness for the sickle cells blood disorder and encourage Ugandans to test for the signs of this ailment. We decided to use our countrywide tournament to push this even further within the local communities across Uganda,” noted Airtel-Uganda Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Charity Rwabutomize.
“Every year we invest greatly in the development of football talent through our Airtel Rising Stars tournament. Now in its 8th year, we felt it prudent to hand over sports equipment to empower schools and local communities with the tools to foster football talent,” she added.
Since 2011, the Airtel Rising Stars grassroots football tournament has given talented boys and girls between the age of 13 and 17 an opportunity to compete against fellow youth from across the country with hopes of being scouted to join the local league, football clubs all over the world and the Uganda national team.
The tournament boasts of players such as Farouk Miya, Kezron Kizito, Allan Okello, Shaban Mohammad, Martin Kiiza, Fazila Ikwaput among others. These play for top local and international clubs as well as the national team.
The Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) finals next weekend will also have sickle Cell testing along the football action