The fifth consecutive season of Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) national U-17 football tournament for boys and girls progressed this weekend with another regional tournament being played at Masaka Recreation Grounds in Masaka.

The Masaka games, which marked the second regional tournament on the 2015 edition of the Airtel Rising Stars, saw Nakaseke International retaining their title as Buganda Region boys champions with a two-nil win against Blessed Sacrament Kimanya. Mukono S.S defeated Bishop S.S in penalty shoot outs to become Buganda Region Girls champions.

Speaking at the end of the tournament, Airtel Uganda Brands and Assets Executive Musa Mayanja, said the ARS platform in the past four seasons had led to the discovery and nurturing of young stars, some of whom have commenced their professional careers in football.

“We are indeed happy that since its introduction, Airtel Rising Stars has played a major role in the nurturing of remarkable talents. We are therefore, proud to say that the Airtel Rising Stars initiative is gradually establishing itself as a strong feeder program for the national teams,” he added.

The Chief Guest and Masaka municipality mayor, Mr. Godfrey Kayemba thanked Airtel for its continued commitment to the development and empowerment of Ugandan youth through this soccer program. “Our youth have the potential to be a great impetus for Africa’s development, provided that an appropriate investment in human capital is made. This ARS initiative will help spotlight Africa’s potential, and I’m proud to be associated with such development,” he said.

The soccer talent program will end in an exclusive football camp for select top talents who would emerge from the respective countries under the tutelage of professional coaching staff from Arsenal FC, who will provide coaching clinics for the scouted talents under the Airtel Rising Stars platform.

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