22nd September, 2011
Five outstanding talents in the maiden edition of Airtel Rising Stars tournament will have the opportunity to go to South Africa in October to join players from several African countries for a soccer boot camp
While in South Africa, they have the chance to further their training and development at the prestigious Institute for Sports in that country. These are the packages the organisers of the talent hunt programme have for the winners of the weeklong event which ended last week in Lagos.
Teams from North East and South South zones of the country won the tournament. The boys from the North East Zone won the trophy in the male category, while the girls from the South Delta Zone emerged winners in the female category.
The boys from the Gombe Centre representing Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa States defeated the boys from South East Zone, 3-0 at the finals of the competition which was played at the Compos Square in Lagos last Sunday.
The North East Zone players edged out their opponent via penalty shootout after both teams ended the final match goalless. The goalkeeper of the Gombe Centre team emerged hero of the day with two breath-taking saves that propelled his team to victory.
In the final of the female category, South Delta team proved too strong for the girls from the North Central Zone, beating them 3-1 to lift the trophy.
At the end of the final of the male category, the goalkeeper of the Gombe centre team, Idris Abubakar, expressed delight over his contribution to the victory of the Coach Suleiman Ibrahim boys.
He said: â€œMy performance has given me a great confidence for the future. I am looking confidently to a very bright future in football. I want to say a big thank you to Airtel for organising this competition and for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent and prove to everyone that I am a star in the makingâ€.
Trophies were presented to the winners by the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Airtel Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava, Nigeriaâ€™s legendary footballer, Nwankwo Kanu and Music Icon, Tu Face Idibia who electrified the stadium with some of his popular songs during the finals.
The tournament is a soccer development programme of Airtel Nigeria that focuses on identifying and nurturing budding talents from the grassroots to the national and international stage.
The tourney started in July with thousands of youngsters from across Nigeria registering to participate in the Airtel open camps in the following zones: North West, North East, North Central, North Basin, South East, South West, South Delta, Lagos metro, Lagos North, with centres in Kano, Gombe, Kaduna, Jos, Owerri, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abeokuta respectively.