Season seven of the annual Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) national U-17 football tournament for boys and girls officially came to a close last weekend.
The championship finals tournament had seven regions (Kampala, Buganda, North East, Easter, Western, West Nile and Kitara) competing for the coveted prize.
Graced by His Majesty, Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King Oyo, the final games saw Kitara Region beating Western region to take home the accolade in the girls’ category and Kampala Region defeating Buganda to emerge victors in the boys’ category.
In his remarks which were delivered by the Kingdom’s Prime Minister, King Oyo lauded Airtel Uganda for its unmatched commitment to the development of football in the country. He noted that this was the second time he had presided over the tournament’s final game, the first time being in 2014.
He also applauded all the players who participated in this year’s games – cautioning them to take full advantage of the new opportunities that came with being part of the talent scouting and development program.
Airtel Uganda’s Managing Director V.G Somasekhar echoed the telecom company’s long-term commitment to nurturing and harnessing local football talent on an annual basis through its various tournaments. Addressing spectators at the game, he spoke of Airtel’s vast sports sponsorships which range from the National Sports football team to regional and finally grassroots programs.
“We are proud of our sports heritage that has grown in size and impact over the years. Our strategy is to create a system which feeds into itself; including identification, recruitment development and finally placement. We are proud of all the participants in this year’s tournament and we wish them the very best in their endeavors,” he said adding that this is a way of giving back to the country.
Federation of Uganda Football Association Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson, expressed the association’s regard for its partnership with Airtel which he said spanned across several years and programs.
“On behalf of FUFA President Moses Magogo, I extend the organization’s gratitude to the dedication it has shown in supporting the growth of football in Uganda. As a result of this dedication, we have witnessed the emergence of some of the top players in the country and we are hopeful that the continuation of this trend will take the quality of Ugandan football to the global scene.”
The games were also attended by FUFA Executive Committee member Chris Kalibala, Uganda Crested Cranes trainer Oliver Mbekeka, FUFA delegates as well as Airtel Uganda officials.
Airtel Rising Stars is an Airtel initiative which aims to develop grassroots football by discovering talented youngsters across Africa and providing them the opportunity to evolve and acquire new football skills and develop into notable soccer talents.
The top performing teams this year received a cash reward of UGX 5,000,000 each in addition to gold medals, certificates of merit and a trophy. The runners up took home UGX3,000,000 in cash prizes, silver medals, certificates and trophies.
This year, 25 of the top male and female players will be drafted into various national-level and local football teams.
Over 120 golfers confirmed for Independence Day Golf Tournament
By Our Reporter
The 8th edition of the Pepsi Independence Day Golf Tournament has officially been launched today with over 120 golfers already confirmed to participate in the annual golf tourney. The tournament which is scheduled to take place between 7th and 9th October will be held at Palm Valley Golf and Country Club in the Akright Kakungulu Housing Estate.
Speaking to media on Thursday, Audrey Lang, the Pepsi Brand Manager revealed that all is set to successfully hold the tournament as she promised that this year’s edition will be more exciting.
“We want to make this year’s tournament more exciting than the previous editions, and we have prepared the golf course in due time and have invited over 150 amateur golfers and 20 professionals.” She stated, adding; “This annual tournament gives an opportunity to local golfers to enhance their growth and globally position themselves better.”
Pepsi is injecting over Ugx 100 million in the annual event with Sheraton hotel and Stanbic bank also contributing Ugx 32 million and Ugx 20 million respectively. Other sponsors include; ICEA, Clarkson Insurance Brokers Ltd, and Mukwano Group.
Meanwhile, there will be a prize fund of Ugx 30 million to be shared amongst the competing professional golfers with several other prizes including accommodation and fitness packages also up for grabs.
Last year, Becca Mwanja and Gloria Mbaguta were the overall winners in the male and female categories respectively.
StarTimes acquires exclusive broadcasting rights for UEFA Europa League
Africa’s leading pay-TV operator StarTimes has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights for UEFA Europa League in Sub-Saharan Africa until 2021. The broadcast, which will begin on September 20th, will see football fans enjoy matches between the best European clubs. “We are very happy to bring UEFA Europa League to our subscribers. This summer FIFA World Cup was a success and fans really appreciated that we brought them ICC exclusive and live right after. So we thought that they would be delighted to watch another European club competition on StarTimes,” explained Aldrine Nsubuga Snr, StarTimes Uganda Marketing VP. “We are working hard to bring the best sport content to our subscribers. This season will be intense for football fans with Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, FIFA Club World Cup, French & Italian Cups and now UEFA Europa League.”
StarTimes will not only exclusively broadcast UEFA Europa League in Uganda but also in all Sub-Saharan Africa except South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. StarTimes has been awarded exclusive rights for English, Portuguese and local languages in English and Portuguese speaking areas.
Kickboxer Umar Semata to train abroad in preparation for fight with Golola Moses
By Our Reporter
Kickboxer Umar Semata is flying abroad on Tuesday as he intensifies preparations for his much-anticipated fight with the Golola Moses which will take place on October 13 at Freedom City. Semata who was officially flagged off by Pemba Sports Africa on Monday will enroll for a specialized training program for one month with top kickboxing coaches in Phuket, Thailand.
Speaking at the send off ceremony, Semata expressed excitement about going for training in Thailand as he revealed that it will allow him to fully concentrate and give him the right mental focus. “You can not be the best without a good trainer, and so training in Thailand will put me in the best shape for the fight.” He noted.
The training is being facilitated by Pemba Sports Africa to a tune of US$ 10,000 which is inclusive of flights, accommodation, welfare and training in Thailand.
Pemba Sports Africa chairman, Jack Pemba is optimistic that this specialized training will guarantee Semata’s victory against Golola. “We are about to make Golola go into retirement, because Semata will crush him and there will be no comeback for him.” He stated.
Semata, also referred to as “The Pain”, weighs 75kg and is a super middleweight Muay Thai fighter who is the current World Boxing Council Muay Thai Super middleweight champion. He boasts of 42 career wins.
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