The fourth edition of Airtel Rising Stars (ARS), a soccer initiative by telecommunication company Airtel, designed for U-17 players, has been launched in Accra.
It is a collaborative initiative with the Youth and Sports Ministry, Ghana Football Association (GFA), National Juvenile Committee (NJC) and the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah pledged his outfit’s unflinching support for the initiative that seeks primarily to promote juvenile soccer in the country.
GFA President Kwasi Nyantakyi denied claims that football is only meant for school drop-outs and stressed that all selected participants must be in school.
He mentioned that the GFA had established a technical development programme in Prampram, where selected boys and girls are trained and educated in football for two years.
The FA boss said the ARS programme had helped his outfit’s advocacy for youth football by helping feed the national teams with quality young players.
He commended Airtel for their great investment in juvenile soccer, and urged the media to give the female national teams the needed attention as they do for their male counterparts.
The Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Lucy Quist, explained that the initiative was geared towards giving hope and providing a platform for young footballers with talent, ambition and drive to excel.
GFA’s NJC Executive Member, George Afriyie, mentioned that ‘there were challenges in the beginning but we have become one of the most relevant activities on the calendar of the GFA.’
By Bevly Ofori
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