16th September, 2011
Two Nigerian icons, Kanu Nwankwo, and Tuface Idibia, have been lined up as star attraction at the finals of the exciting Airtelâ€™s Under 17 football talent hunt programme, Airtel Rising Stars tournament, which began across the country in July.
The huge followers of Nigeriaâ€™s former Super Eagleâ€™s captain, Kanu, and iconic musician, Tuface, will have a swell time as the duo put a final touch to what they started together several months ago at the National Institute of Sports, Surulere, Lagos, venue of the media launch of Airtel Rising Stars.
Airtel Rising Stars national finals will begin today and end on Sunday at the Campos Square, Lagos Island. Part of the highlights of events include, the kick-off of the final match by Kanu Nwankwo and a concert featuring Tuface Idibia and prize presentation by an array of invited dignitaries.
Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) provides a platform for upcoming soccer talents under 17 years of age, in Africa, both male and female, to showcase their skills to leading scouts and coaches
Fifteen boys and 15 girls were selected per zone from across the country for the national championship in Lagos at the closed camp from a pool of 30 boys and 30 girls per zone that emerged from the Airtel Open camp.
The participants in the closed camp were selected by a team of highly experienced and professionally disciplined coaches through a rigorous skill assessment exercises at the various venues. The youth were drilled using a three-way test parameter, game intelligence, physique and techniques.
Speaking about the ARS national finals, the Chief Operating Officer/Executive Director, Airtel, Deepak Srivastava, said: â€œthe choice of the two popular Nigerians in this youth talent hunt was informed by the need to inspire majority of Nigerian youngsters to aim for the top, adding that the two stars have risen to the top of the their chosen career through hard work and right application of their talents.â€
To get to the national finals, young Nigerians aged 17 and below, got registered for the Airtel Rising Stars Tournament in eight hubs across Nigeria, which yielded over 5000 participants after three weeks. These players then proceeded to open camps in eight zones – Jos, Port Harcourt, Gombe, Kaduna and Ibadan. Other zones where the open camp took place were: Owerri, Lagos, Kano and Abeokuta.