The Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) is a youth football initiative for both boys and girls between the ages of 13-17 that was launched in 2011.
PIC: Airtel Managing Director V.G Somasekhar (center) and FUFA’s , Rogers Byamukama (left), second vice president Darious Mugoye (2nd left), Esther Musoke (right) and Airtel’s Noela Byuma (2nd right) unveil some of the items to be used during the launch of the 7th edition of the Airtel Rising Stars at the StarTimes Stadium, June 7 2018. (Credit:Michael Nsubuga)
KAMPALA – FUFA got another chance to unearth more football stars around the country.
This followed the launch of the 7th edition of the Airtel Rising Stars at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo,Thursday.
The Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) is a youth football initiative for both boys and girls between the ages of 13-17 that was launched in 2011 and has produced soccer talent from the grassroots onto national and the international stage.
Players like Mohammed Shaban (KCCA FC), Martin Kizza (SC Villa) Ezra Bida (Onduparaka), Allan Okello (KCCA FC), Pius Obuya (Maroons FC), Bashir Asiku (Vipers), Mathias Muwanga (URA), Hasifa Nassuna (Kawempe), Fazila Ikwaput (Gokulam Kerala), Farouk Miya and Kezironi Kizito among others have been cast onto the national and international stage and the various national teams through the ARS programme.
Airtel Managing Director V.G Somasekhar flanked by FUFA second vice president Darious Mugoye, Rogers Byamukama, Esther Musoke and Airtel staff Noela Byuma and Faith Bugonzi launched the tournament and called on all the youth in the country to participate.
“One of the things that can change the life of Ugandans is football. Football is not only a game but it is life, so it gives me great joy to see that we are kicking off another season,” Somasekhar said.
Airtel Managing Director V.G Somasekhar (center-back) and FUFA second vice president Darious Mugoye (4th left-back), Rogers Byamukama (3rd left), Esther Musoke (2nd left) and Airtel staff Noela Byuma (2nd right), Faith Bugonzi (left) pose with the girls’ teams from Rubaga and Munyonyo during the launch of the 7th edition of the Airtel Rising Stars at the StarTimes Stadium. (Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
“We believe that with the right support the Ugandan youth will be able to realize their talent and play for the Cranes because all the stars playing for the team is a matter of pride for us and we are happy to see more stars born.”
FUFA second vice president, Darious Mugoye who represented FUFA president,Moses Magogo said the Airtel Rising Stars programme was the biggest grassroots football tournament and that they were looking forward to tapping more talent from the tournament.
“As FUFA we are excited because we know what the previous editions were able to do for us. Since 2011 we have had a number of stars that have been scouted for the U-23’s, U-20 and they are doing well there; so, as a federation we belive in building from the grassroots and see these boys and girls grow,” Mugoye stated.
The tournament kicks off with the inter-district championships in the next two weeks before regional championships in Kampala (July 13-15), Buganda (July 20-22), North East & Eastern (July 27-29), North & West Nile (August 3-5), Kitara & Western (August 10-12) ahead of the national championship in Fort Portal (August 24-28).
Winning teams in both the boys’ and girls’ categories walk away with sh1m each while runners up get sh500, 000 at the regional level while winners at the nationals will pocket sh5m with the runners up getting sh3m each on top of medals and other goodies to the MVP, top scorer, best coaches among others.