Football-Young footballers offered chance of a lifetime


From right to left: Mr Ramani, Minister Meriton, Mr Sinha and Mr Chetty during the launch of the programme on Friday

At the launching ceremony on Friday afternoon at Stad Linite, Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports, Vincent Meriton, commended Airtel for bringing this initiative to Seychelles. “In our country, the drug problem is alarming,” Minister Meriton said as he addressed those present. “We have to admit that the effects on our youths and families are disturbing, but amid the despair, there is reason to hope.”

The minister was making the point that sports is a vehicle that helps youths as it inspires and teaches discipline, which has a positive effect on them.

The Airtel Rising Stars programme is being done in partnership with one of the world’s most supported teams, Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United, the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) and Samsung Electronics.

The programme is a multi country grassroots soccer initiative that offers young stars the opportunity to play, compete and showcase their talent in their respective countries. Airtel Rising Stars is the largest under-17 grassroots tournament in Africa and is currently running across fifteen countries where Seychelles now joins the list.

Airtel Seychelles’ country manager Vikram Sinha said: “Airtel is already a great supporter of youth soccer in Seychelles as seen in the Airtel Cup and together with our partners we will ensure we are not only great supporters, but also the most consistent supporter of grassroots football in Seychelles.”

SFF chairman Elvis Chetty said that one boy will be selected from the under 17 and one from the under 14 in this first edition of the programme.

He stated that the players will not only be scouted to identify their abilities, but they will also face tests and exercises from which the two who come out best will be selected to attend a top soccer clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo in September which will be run by Manchester United Football Club.

Also present at the launch ceremony was Raja Ramani who was representing Cellular Services Ltd, the Samsung Channell Partner in Seychelles, and Minister for Education Macsuzy Mondon as well as SFF members and young footballers who will be taking part in the programme.

Registration for the programme is open until July 17 for all boys under the age of 17 years.


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