Airtel Rising Stars tournament kicks off in Makeni
The 2010 award winning telecommunication company, Airtel, in keeping to it corporate social tasks has commenced the ‘Airtel Rising Stars’ tournament in Makeni in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone.
In partnership with one of the world’s leading football clubs, Manchester United, Airtel intends turning Sierra Leonean rising stars into international superstars.
The football contest has had no form of bias as it is unavoidably extended to the four regions in the country.
During the opening ceremony at the Wusum field in Makeni, the Chairperson of the programme, John Conteh, who works for Kalleone Radio, officially announced the names of participating teams of the tournament.
In his statement, Managing Director RVS Bhullah said Airtel Rising Stars competition suggests a start of an exciting chain of matches that will focus on identifying and nurturing budding soccer talent from the grassroots onto national stage.
He stated that the Airtel Rising Stars play-offs provide a window to promote young players and to enhance the popularity of youth in Sierra Leone, and give both boys and girls the opportunity to expose their talents freely.
He said that a total of 87 teams from all the regions, 64 boys and 23 girls, have been selected nationally out of the 162 teams that registered to participate.
Eight teams, two from each region, will advance to the Nationals in Freetown from the 21st – 25th September.
He furthered that Airtel will always remain committed to seeking similar initiatives that create a positive community impact from the grassroots to national and regional levels.
Abdul Rahman Kamara, a former teacher representing the Makeni town Mayor said Airtel must be commended for bringing such an opportunity to the doorsteps of Sierra Leoneans.
He stated nevertheless that Airtel has taken up this venture to expose the youth of the nation to world football.
He encouraged the participants to behave themselves and do their best.
Deputy Director of Sports, Moses Kargbo appreciates the Airtel family for bringing opportunities to Sierra Leone’s ‘Rising Stars.’
Chairman of Bombali District Football Association, Brima Jalloh said the Airtel Rising Stars play-offs competition supports up and rising stars in the country.
The regional crime officer Makeni Police Station, Inspector Daniel Conteh, showed gratitude to management of Airtel for their superb initiative. He assured them of his organization’s unfailing provision of security coverage at every given match – from start to finish.
The presentation of equipment to the various team managers was done by· Uday Raktale – Operations Director · Mustapha Katta – Marketing Manager · June Rose Johnson – Corporate Affairs Manager · Serge Pennanearch – IT Manager
A friendly match between Airtel staff Freetown, and Airtel staff Makeni, was played and Airtel Freetown won 4-2!
By N’gardi Lahai
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