The much awaited 3rd edition of the Airtel Rising Stars has been launched at the Press Centre of the Accra Sports Stadium.
The programme seeks to unearth talents from across the length and breadth of the country and beyond. Communications giant Airtel are teaming up with English Premier League side Arsenal for the event and do have on board the services of Ex Ghanaian youth and senior internationals Samuel Osei Kuffuor and Nii Odartey Lamptey to comb the nation and churn out talent.
Former Arsenal Skipper Tony Adams who serves as a global ambassador for his club was delighted to see Arsenal associated with an event of this magnitude and pledged his outfit’s commitment to the cause of this noble idea. For him, the youth serve as the brightest spot for a nation and it was incumbent on all and sundry to support this cause.
Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Ghana Limited Mr Philip Sowah opined that it was his company’s way of giving back to the society that has helped propelled the brand to the state in which it fonds itself.
He expressed delight at the unearthing of Black Maidens skipper Priscilla Okyere from the previous event and looked forward to a lot more talent being churned out through this process.
“For us at Airtel, sports and education are bed-fellows and that is why we insist that all participants in the tournament are from the schools.”
Brand Ambassadors Osei Kuffuor and Nii Lamptey who graced the colours of the nation from their teens and made it to the highest echelons of professional football expressed their worry at the apparent lack of talent coming through the ranks as existed in their days.
They were particularly disappointed with the downward trend of colts football which served as the base to scout for talent thus their decision to support such a worthy cause.
“Airtel Rising Stars will help knick the talents from the woods and bring them to the fore,” he said at the launch.
“I profited from such youth development at Arsenal and I am happy this concept is being replicated here in Ghana,” Nii Lamptey added.
This year’s competition which will kick start on May 31st will run in two sectors; the Northern and Southern sector with the national finals taking place on July 10.
Winners of both the U17 male and female division will then take part in an Inter-country contest to be held in Lagos, Nigeria from 2-8th July.