Telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria has officially kicked-off the search for the next football super-stars just as it has announced the commencement of open football camps in key cities across the South West and South-South parts of the country.
According to Airtel, the skill tests and regional contests of the Airtel Rising Stars football tournament will hold across eight locations in Nigeria, including Lagos, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Ibadan, Benin and Port Harcourt.
The Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director of Airtel Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava said the regional open camp will help guarantee that every young talented soccer player in Nigeria gets a chance to showcase his or her skills to leading scouts and coaches, adding that Airtel is committed to taking its search to the furthest parts of the country in a bid to realize its vision of empowering talented boys and girls who are under the age of 17.
Srivastava added that “Airtel Nigeria is preparing for the official start of the Airtel Rising Stars football tournament across the country as the registration process has now been completed. The tournament promises to be exciting and challenging as over 5,000 teenage boys and girls have applied and are ready to pursue their passion for football to the next level.
“At Airtel Nigeria, we are committed to creating a powerful platform that will play a crucial role in transforming talented youths in the country. The Airtel Rising Stars is one of such initiative and we are confident that the programme will add real value to the lives of our youths,” he stated.
Further selection will see the very best stars going to the Institute for Sports Science in South Africa for training and development. The competition will produce three boys and three girls who will be selected to attend the soccer boot camp in South Africa along with other Airtel Rising Stars winners from the other countries in Africa.
The tournament is currently underway in 15 countries in Africa with up to 3,000 participating teams. “What makes Airtel Rising Stars different from any other football tournament is the sheer scale and grandeur of this initiative. The tournament is being played by thousands of youth across the continent – it is really quite spectacular”, explains Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa.
Relevant ministries and institutions who oversee sport administration in Nigeria as well as the local football associations, are cooperating with Airtel in order to ensure that all boys and girls, under the age of 17, who are passionate about the game will have the chance to test their abilities in the sport.