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The second league of Africa?s largest under-17 grassroots football competition, the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) is currently underway in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana. The scouting team made up of soccer icons Coach E.K Afranie, Ibrahim Sunday and Ernest Kuffour, the National Juvenile Committee chairman will be scouting for players to form Zonal female and male teams for Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions. These teams will compete at the Tamale sports stadium park for honors later this weekend.

More than 200 youngsters trooped to the scouting grounds to ?justify their inclusion? for the opportunity of a lifetime ? to be drafted into the Zone 2 competing teams.

According to the Head of Corporate Communications and CSR at Airtel, Donald Gwira, he was quite surprised at the enthusiasm displayed by these budding youngsters as they juggled for the limited space available. ?It is obvious that the three northern regions are teeming with talent and we believe that at the end of the competition, we would have discovered a few who will be groomed and given the platform to display their unique football skills?, he said.

He further explained that the reason why ARS is different from similar initiatives was that, to be part of ARS, one needed to be in school. ?We see education as the key to success for every young person and we have made it a requirement for each participant to be enrolled in school before being selected to be part of the ARS programme?.

The leader of the scouting team, Coach E.K. Afranie, was very impressed with the patronage and quality of players who showed up. He expressed his belief that Tamale?s zonal games may be one of the best in the competition.

The Airtel Rising Stars initiative is intended to ?unleash the power of potential? in Ghanaian youth.



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