2018 Airtel Rising Stars:
- 23rd – 26th August
*To be hosted in Fort Portal
The 2018 Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) regional qualifiers successfully climaxed over the weekend with the Kitara and Western championships played at Bushenyi and Nyakibizzi play grounds.
Now, the focus and attention for all the regions for the grand finals in Fort Portal which will happen between 23rd to 26th August 2018.
For starters, the regional qualifiers that had teams with players under the age of 17 across the country kicked off in Kampala, hosted by Rubaga Football Association (RFA) at the Ssendi and Kitebi primary school play grounds.
Kampala Junior Team (KJT) Academy was the boy’s champion, having dethroned Spartans 1-0.
Uganda Martyrs’ High School, Lubaga overcame Gadafi Intergrated School 1-0 in the girls’ final.
The Buganda qualifiers were hosted by the Masaka Football Association at Nyendo – Kasana and Masaka Recreational Stadium.
Buikwe based Rays of Grace and Divine Stars academy from Nyendo triumphed in the boys and girls respective catergories.
The Eastern and North East regions were jointly held in Tororo at the Police and King George play grounds.
Mbale Tigers won the boys’ catergory and Kataka She-FC smiled to the girls’ version in the Eastern region.
For North East, Ecos S.S from Soroti took home the girls’ overall trophy and another Soroti based entity Star Light S.S won the boy’s version.
Gulu Municipality hosted the Northern and West Nile regions qualifiers.
Kitgum Rwot Ker from Kitgum district won the boys catergory as Lira’s National Youth Football Academy took home the girls’ event during the Northern region qualifiers.
In West Nile, Yumbe Heroes from Yumbe district and Moyo district’s FHL Simba smiled to the boys and girls’ titles respectively.
The final round of qualifiers took play in Western region, as hosted by Bushenyi district at the Nyakabirizzi and Bushenyi main play grounds.
Kiryandongo won the Kitara region’s boys title and Toro Queens took home of the girl’s championship.
Kigezi Football Academy from Kabale district overcame Lions Academy 6-5 in a tense penalty shoot-out after normal time had ended one goal apiece.
Meanwhile, Sheema Girls team were too good for Kisoro Young Simba in the Western region girls’ final.
FUFA Executive Committee member Chris Kalibala, who has been present at each and every regional qualification center lauds the sponsors for making the programme reality.
Kalibala, a delegate representing Western Uganda throws a token of appreciation to the regions for organizing the teams to make the qualifiers a success;
I wish to thank Airtel Uganda Limited for sponsoring this programme since 2011. They have proved that they are the true lovers of Uganda’s football since they sponsor the national team (Uganda Cranes) as well. I also appreciate the regional football bodies for helping in organizing the teams that took part in the qualifiers.
Prizes at Grand finals:
Each of the eight regional champions got a branded Airtel Uganda jersey, gold medals, trophy, certificates and Shs 1,000,000 cash prize.
The other eight runners up were rewarded with silver medals, certificates, jerseys and Shs 500,000 each.
It should be noted that the national champions will get gold medals, jerseys, trophy, and certificates on top of a hefty cash prize of Shs. 5,000,000.
The first runners up will get silver medals, jerseys, certificates and Shs. 3,000,000.
Airtel Uganda head of communications and brand, Remmie Kisakye recommits their urge to continue supporting the project;
There are fruits from the AIrtel Rising Stars since we kicked off in 2011. Players have been identified through the ARS and taken up by clubs through to the national team and the best example is Faruku Miya who even scored the goal that took us to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1978 when Uganda Cranes had last played there.
A select team of 50 players (25 per gender) will be picked by the technical team during the grand finals and will be recommended to the national U-17 team.
The main objective among others was to lay a foundation as well as provide a plat form to nurture young talented players as a basis to ensure continuity for the abundant football pool of players.
Established players as Faruku Miya, Kezironi Kizito, Martin Kizza, Allan Okello, Ivan Eyam, Pius “TZ Iniesta” Obuya, Bashir Asiku, Fazilah Ikwaput, Lillian Mutunzo and Yudaya Nakayenze among others have played this programme.
The Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) was started in 2011 to to-date (only missed out in the 2017).
All regional champions:
- Boys: Kampala Junior Team (KJT) Academy
- Girls: Uganda Martyrs’ High School, Lubaga
- Boys: Rays of Grace, Buikwe
- Girls: Divine Stars, Nyendo
- Boys: Mbale Tigers
- Girls: Kataka She-FC
- Boys: Star Light S.S (Soroti)
- Girls: Ecos S.S (Soroti)
- Boys: Kitgum Rwot Ker (Kitgum)
- Girls: National Youth Football Academy (Lira)
- Boys: Yumbe Heroes (Yumbe)
- Girls: FHL Simba (Moyo)
- Boys: Kiryandongo
- Girls: Toro Queens
- Boys: Kigezi Football Academy
- Girls: Sheema Girls Team