The Marketing and Communication Manager, Airtel, Mustapha Katta, has told Awoko Sports that the official ceremony of the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Competition in Makeni on August 24 at the Wusum Playing Field “was fantastic and was very happy with the turnout.”
He also stated that he was very happy for all the 23 teams which included 16 boys’ and 7 girls’ teams that will battle for the Northern Region final which is expected to end play on Sunday, August 28.
The competition will also take place in the Southern Region for teams in the South and continue in the Eastern Region, and then finally to the Western Area.
After the Western Area knock out stage, all the qualifiers will come to Freetown to play in the National playoff, and that the two best teams will play in the final.
He said at the end of the competition, Airtel will select the two best boys’ and girls’ teams that will attend a Manchester United Football Clinic in Tanzania for three weeks.
The Clinic will be divided into two sections; practical and theory with the aim of developing Youth Football in Africa.
He said that the Clinic came as a result of the partnership they have with Manchester United.
Mustapha Katta said they decided to have the competition a countrywide programme so that other parts of the country may benefit from the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 competition, as they have their customers all over the country and not only Freetown.
The Marketing Communication Manager also revealed that they have put mechanisms in place to ensure that they have a peaceful competition, with all the participating teams abiding by the rules and regulations of the competition.
He further stated that the competition will be an annual affair and that it will not only depend on Airtel alone, but also with support and backing from government by making the National Stadium available to them anytime they want to use it.
He revealed that Airtel is taking care of all the bills and also responsible for jerseys, allowances and host of other things.