15th March, 2012
Grassroots football federation, the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), and the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) have thrown their full weight behind the Airtel Rising Stars soccer tournament.
They described the programme as a positive development, which will empower talented youngsters across the country to succeed as professional footballers. Speaking recently at a media event to announce the commencement of the Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) 2, National President of the NSSF, Mallam Ibrahim Mohammed, described the ARS initiative as timely and strategic for the development of grassroots football just as he commended Airtel for initiating and sustaining a robust programme that has impacted positively in talented, young boys and girls.
According to Mallam Mohammed, the NSSF is “particularly happy that Airtel is providing the opportunity to discover and nurture our young ones into future stars. If a company like Airtel does not come to our aid, it will be extremely difficult for us to succeed in our efforts to help our gifted youngsters.
“Without a doubt, partnering with Airtel in this ARS initiative will definitely help in our quest of identifying and supporting thousands of unprivileged young boys and girls who are naturally talented.”
In his remarks, National Secretary of YSFON, Patrick Okpavuerhe, urged the telecoms operator not to relent in its efforts at developing grassroots football across the nation, noting that the ARS initiative is coming at the right time.
“We were encouraged and motivated by the support we received from Airtel with the maiden edition of ARS. The company displayed a lot of passion and commitment in their efforts to developing our grassroots football,” he said.