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Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Season 4 zonal championships kick off

By Amechi Obiakpu, Lagos on 02/07/2014

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Zonal championships of Season 4 of international grassroots tourney, Airtel Rising Stars U-17 male and female tournament, have kicked off in Nigeria’s capital Abuja and Ilorin in the country’s North-East. This is coming after weeks of successful nationwide registration for participation in the grassroots championship.

The ARS U-17 Tourney is designed to provide support for the development of football talents across Nigeria. It aims at discovering talented students (male and female) of secondary school age and providing them the opportunity to gain football skills and develop into renowned stars.

The championships will run concurrently from June 30 to July 5 in Abuja at the Area 10 Sports Complex and Ilorin at the Kwara Football Academy Soccer Pitch. Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lagos will host the last lap between July 7 and 12 at the UNEC Sports Complex, Enugu, Number 1 Field, PH and NIS Pitch National Stadium, Surulere respectively.

The zonal championships phase is a significant stage in the ARS circle as it offers equal opportunities to all registered participants to showcase their skills under the watchful eyes of Tournament’s technical advisers, leading grassroots coaches, YSFON officials and media partners.

Beginning with age and eligibility verification for all participants, proceedings at the two venues are to progress with all screened players featuring in the elimination matches. Individual participants who do not have teams will be grouped to participate in the zonal championship while teams with valid registration details are also allowed to participate as teams.

The five zonal screening camps will produce a male and female team of 16 players each for the national championship slated for Lagos late July.

About a thousand teams comprising 16,000 players are expected to feature in this year’s edition of the ARS. Not less than 50,000 active participants have been recorded in the last three seasons of the tournament.

The five cities will serve as zonal centres for a total of 20 states. Abuja will feature players from the FCT, Nassarawa, Kogi, Plateau, Niger and Kaduna States while Ilorin will have participants from Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Kwara States. Enugu zone will have players drawn from Imo, Abia, Enugu and Anambra States. In the Port Harcourt zone, the four states expected include Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Delta. Lagos will play host to players from Ogun, Lagos, Oyo and Edo States

Also, as part of efforts to deepen the technical depth of the annual football tournament, five Nigerian ex-internationals have been appointed as technical advisers to the participating youngsters. 

The technical advisers include ex-Super Eagles players, Mutiu Adepoju, Garba Lawal and Peter Rufai, ex-Super Falcons goal tender, Anne Chiejinne, and Olympic gold medalist, Chioma Ajunwa-Oparah. 

Photo shows a march-past at last year’s ARS in Lagos.

Source News Express

Posted 02/07/2014 7:31:40 PM


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