BrandArena: Airtel Rising Stars 5 Regional Championship Begins

Friday 31 July 2015

Airtel Rising Stars 5 Regional Championship Begins

The regional championships of the fifth edition of Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) U-17 football tournament kicked off today following the successful registration of boys and girls who participated in the open camp preliminary screening exercise.

The tournament, a unique initiative of leading telecommunications service provider, Airtel Nigeria, has been providing support for the development of football talents across Nigeria since 2011. It is aimed at discovering talented youths (male and female) of secondary school age and providing them with the opportunity to gain football skills and develop into renowned stars

The Regional Championships for the North which commenced today 30th July at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja will span till 1st August, 2015, while the South Championships will be held at Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt between the 6th and 8th of August. Thereafter, Lagos will host the last leg of regional championship at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Surulere, between the 14th and 16th of August.

The three cities will serve as regional centres for a total of 14 states. Abuja region will feature players from the FCT, Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto while Lagos region will have participants from Ogun, Oyo, Lagos, Ondo and Edo States. Port Harcourt region will play host to teams from Imo, Rivers, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom and Anambra states.

This phase of the tournament is very significant as it provides a platform for tournament’s technical advisers, leading grassroots coaches, YSFON officials and media partners to screen the registered participants and select the team of 15 boys and 15 girls who will represent the region at the national finals in Lagos.

Also, as part of efforts to deepen the technical depth of the annual football tournament, ex-internationals Jonathan Akpoborie, Mutiu Adepoju and Ann Chiejine who are serving as technical advisers for the tournament will be at the regional championships to offer technical support and advisory services to the youngsters.

In line with the rules of the tournament, the championships will run in a league format from which the regional representatives to the national finals will emerge. Each of the three regions will produce a male and female team comprising 15 players each for the national championship slated for Lagos late August.

Great football skills, tackles, captivating dribbles as well as fantastic goals are expected to feature at this stage, as the teams vie to avoid elimination and move to the final stage of the competition.

ARS enjoys the label of being the biggest youth tournament in Africa, with endorsement and support of local football bodies such as Lagos State Football Association (LSFA), Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), Arsenal Football Club and Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF).


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