The second edition of the Africa’s premier youth football bonanza for both boys and girls will begin mid next month. Airtel plans to boost next round of football clinics, now slated for April next year Nairobi, September 9th , 2013- Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, announced today that the Airtel Rising Stars Africa Championship will take place in Lagos, Nigeria from September 16th – September 22nd, 2013.
For the second year running, the Airtel Africa Championship will provide an opportunity for budding stars to showcase their football skills and to gauge their raw talent against continental peers.
Ms Charity Lumpa, Managing Director, Airtel Networks Zambia Plc, said: “The Airtel Africa Championship seeks to bolster the quality of football played in Africa. At Airtel, we are convinced that by creating playing opportunities for participants, we develop their potential.”
The Third 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. The money will be used towards the players’ education.
The 2012 pan-African Championship Tournament saw the girls from Ghana and the boys from Niger emerge as the Airtel Rising Stars champions. The Nigerian players will be keen to win the tournament in front of their fans, after failing to do so in last year’s edition. The pan-African tournament is bound to be exciting as Africa’s youth soccer powerhouses, such as Ghana and Zambia, will be eager to upset the host nation.
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.
New date for the soccer clinics
The best players of the Airtel Africa Championship will get the opportunity to attend football clinics provided by two of the biggest football clubs in the world: Arsenal FC and Manchester United. The clinics, which will take place in Lagos (Nigeria) and Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo) in April 2014, will be managed by UEFA-trained coaches from Manchester United and Arsenal FC.
Commenting on the importance of the Airtel Rising Stars clinics Ms Lumpa, added: “It is through these workshops that players get a chance to take their talent to the next level and get a sense of how it feels to be a professional footballer.”
The Arsenal FC and Manchester United football clinics will kick off the fourth edition of the Airtel Rising Stars tournament in April 2014. The clinics have been pushed forward following improvements of the programme, which has necessitated a change of timing by starting the annual activities with the clinics before the national championships kick off.
Said Ms Lumpa: “In order to ensure that we have the best coaching staff and venues available, we have opted to move the dates to April 2014”.
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.Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 275 million customers across its operations at the end of July 2013