Air­tel Uganda stars wrap-up

East African Business Week - - SPORTS - BY EDI­SON OLOUCH

LIRA, UGANDA---THE sixth sea­son of the Air­tel Ris­ing Stars (ARS) U-17 foot­ball tour­na­ment of­fi­cially came to a close re­cently at UTC play grounds in Lira district north­ern Uganda.

Open to both boys and girls, the tour­na­ment fea­tured 16 teams from eight re­gions across the coun­try com­pet­ing to take the cov­eted na­tional cham­pi­onships tro­phy home.

The boys’ fi­nals saw the North­ern re­gion out­class the Bu­ganda re­gion when they scored a quick fire two goals in the first half.

An own goal from Bu­ganda re­gion’s Musa Jjagwe gave North­ern re­gion an early lead. Not even Karim Byaruhanga’s sec­ond half goal could sal­vage some pride for Bu­ganda who lost the match 2 – 1.

Their con­so­la­tion came in the girls’ cat­e­gory when their se­lected team nar­rowly de­feated East­ern re­gion girls 1 – 0 to de­fend their ti­tle. The only goal of the game was scored by Josephine Nda­gire in the first half.

Speak­ing at the end of the tour­na­ment, Air­tel Uganda Public Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer Faith Bu­gonzi said the ARS plat­form, over the past five sea­sons, has been a medium of ta­lent dis­cov­ery for young stars, some of whom have gone on to play for dif­fer­ent clubs in Uganda as well as the na­tional team.

“For the last six years, Air­tel Uganda, through the Air­tel Ris­ing Stars U-17 boys’ and girls’ foot­ball pro­gramme, has re­mained fo­cused to the goal of de­vel­op­ing grass­roots ta­lent and we are com­mit­ted to car­ry­ing on this pro­gramme for many more years,” she said.

The FUFA Vice Pres­i­dent and Chief Guest, Jus­tus Mugi- sha lauded Air­tel Uganda for this great ini­tia­tive.

“I would like to thank Air­tel Uganda for not be­ing self-cen­tred with their spon­sor­ship.

“Many spon­sors come to us and only want to spon­sor the Uganda Cranes but Air­tel Uganda has proven to be the num­ber one sup­porter of foot­ball in Uganda by spon­sor­ing the beau­ti­ful game from the grass roots all the way to the top,” he said. Cash prizes were on of­fer and foot­ball kit.

GLEE: Noth­ern Re­gion beat Bu­ganda Re­gion in the fi­nals, but the lat­ter got some com­fort af­ter the girls beat East­ern Re­gion.

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