NAIROBI, Kenya, June 29 – The sixth edition of the Airtel Rising Stars received Sh12m sponsorship ahead of the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA)Team 2B Games that kicks-off July 6 across the regions.
Title sponsors Airtel Kenya in conjunction with KSSSA launched the event on Wednesday in the competition that brings together thousands of boys and girls from different schools in the country.
As the norm, the tournament will be conducted in eight regions which include Metropolitan, Northern region, Aberdare, Coastal region, Nzoia region, Mau , Lake region and Highlands.
The regional finals will be held across the eight regions from July 6-17 while the national finals will be hosted in Kisumu from August 1-6.
The Airtel Rising Stars program is designed to provide a structured platform for scouts and coaches tap into a vast pool of upcoming talent as well as build strong feeder systems for local leagues and national teams.
“The Youth are important to us and we believe in providing them with tools that will not only empower them, but give them a platform to contribute positively to the development of this Country. Our biggest dream for the Airtel Rising Stars is not only to raise players who will be marketable locally but also internationally,”Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said.
The competition has over the years churned out exciting talent, the likes of Gor Mahia defender Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma, Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga and Harambee Starlets dribbler Mwanahalima Adam ‘Dogo’.
On his part, the Director of Quality Assurance and Standards Jared Obiero called on local clubs and football authorities to seek ways and means to support the talent that continues to be identified through the annual games.
Passenga Boys from Aberdare region and Wiyeta Girls from Nzoia region are last year’s national champions.
Passenga beat Metropolitan’s Laiser Hill 1-0 in hard-fought boys’ final while Wiyeta edged out Kobala Girls from Lake Region 1-0 in the girls’ final.