The Winning Team from the Greater Accra Region at the Zone 1 ARS Competition in Ho in a pose with the ARS Mascot

Airtel Ghana?s colt sports talent initiative, The Airtel Rising Stars Zonal competition, which took place in the Volta Regional capital Ho, over the weekend, has ended with the Greater Accra Regional teams being crowned winners for both the female and male competitions. The Zone 1 was made up of teams from the Volta, Eastern and Greater Accra Regions.

In addition to winning the competition, the boys? team from Greater Accra also picked up three awards, namely, ?Goal King of the tournament? which went to Boateng Bright, ?Best Defender of the tournament?, Najeeb Abubakari and ?the Most Valuable Player of the tournament?, Moses Attah.

The Volta Regional male team, after giving their Greater Accra Regional counterparts a tough time during the grand finals, finally conceded a lone goal, thereby losing out on the golden crown to pick up the silver medal.

Surprising, Eastern Regional male team, although they did not pick up any awards, had six (6) of its players drafted into the Zone 1 team which will be playing in the national finals in Sunyani in July this year.

Speaking to the various teams after the games, the Supply Chain Director at Airtel Ghana, Edward Sasu Appiah said the Airtel Rising Stars initiative was an integral part of Airtel?s community empowerment initiative, which sought to unearth and nurture young talented footballers less than 17 years, both male and female, with the aim of giving them the necessary push to become the best they can be in the world of football.

According to him, ARS runs in all 17 operating countries of Airtel across Africa, an indication of Airtel?s commitment to creating greater interaction and opportunities for social development through grassroots football in Africa.

The best defender of the competition, Abubakari Najeeb, was very excited to be part of the ARS programme. According to him, he had always known he could play football but had found it difficult to get an appropriate platform to showcase his talent. He thanked Airtel Ghana for the opportunity given him and his colleagues, with a promise that they would make Airtel and Ghana proud by rising to the apex of the game.

A highlight of the event was when Hiplife musician Gasmilla, known in entertainment circles as the International Fisherman, took fans through the rudiments of Azonto dancing during game breaks.

The next stop of the ARS train will be in the Northern Region, where the Zone 2 competitions as well as the first scouting programme will take place.

Gabon will host the African championship in August where national teams from the various 17 countries Airtel operates in will play to determine the African champions. The girls’ team from Ghana won the maiden games played in Kenya in 2012.

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