Over 18, 000 teams and more than 400, 000 young boys and girls across Africa would be involved in the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) tournament this year 2013. This is going to be by far the largest under 17 grassroots tournament the continent has ever seen.
Working with various educational institutions in 17 English and French speaking countries, the Airtel youth soccer initiative has recorded 65% growth in 2012 participation and looks set to grow even larger this year.
The success of the tournament could be attributed to the kind of support the youth soccer initiative has enjoyed. Before now, Airtel already has agreement with Manchester United and Arsenal of England, to develop emerging soccer talents in Africa and utilize their global recognizable brand assets to enhance youth empowerment activity.
ARS has established itself as a strong feeder program for these clubs as well as national teams in the continent. A good number of the players that previously participated in the tournament have been absorbed into most elite league clubs across Africa.
Now, with Samsung Electronics co. ltd announcement of its partnership with the grassroots initiative, under a multimillion dollar agreement with Airtel, to be the official device partner of the ARS tournament, the youth would enjoy more global spotlight this time around.
George Ferreira, vice President and COO of Samsung Electronics, Africa says, "Africa is the world's youngest continent. The proportion of youth in the region is higher than on any other continent. According to world bank estimates, 60% of Africa's population of more than 1 billion people are youth. The number of young people in Africa is forecast to double by 2045."
Ferreira further said, "Our youth have the potential to be a great impetus for Africa's development, provided that an appropriate investment in human capital is made. ARS investment will help spotlight Africa's potential and we are proud to be associated with such development.
NB: You can participate in the tournament if you are a player and under 17 years. For Registration inquiries click the logo below.