Following a two-day display of talent, two teams were crowned champions of the Buganda region in the Airtel Rising Stars games. Rays of Grace Junior School Buikwe took home the prize in the boys’ games and Mpigi Divine Stars emerged winners in a penalty shoot-out.
Arguably the star of the boys’ match, Julius Kintu scored a hat trick to lead his team to victory while Mpigi Divine Stars netted nine goals in penalties, following a goalless game against Pride College School.
In the boys’ games, Rays of Grace Junior School Buikwe played against Mpigi Mixed while Pride College School faced Mpigi Divine Stars.
The games which took place at Recreation Grounds in Masaka town were presided over by Honorable Fred Mukasa Mbidde; a member of the 3rd East African Legislative Assembly. In his remarks, Mbidde praised Airtel Uganda for its efforts in advancing football across the country. In particular, he pointed to the inclusion of female players in the tournament, saying; “…the inclusion of female players in this tournament allows young girls across the country to showcase their talent and receive opportunities to grow their sportsmanship.”
FUFA’s 2nd Vice President, Darius Mugoye congratulated the four teams that made it to the final round of the regional games for displaying talent, discipline and tenacity as they battled for the ultimate prize. He also commended Airtel Uganda for its investment in the grassroots tournament which has been the launching pad for numerous national and international football players of Ugandan origin.
Remmie Kisakye; Airtel Uganda’s Head of Brand and Communications echoed the company’s commitment to Ugandan football, right from the grassroots to the national level. “Over the years, we have grown our relationship with various football platforms across the country as part of our efforts to identify and nurture football talent. These platforms include the Masaza Cup, Uganda Cranes, Uganda Premier League and Airtel Rising Stars. With each of these, we are able to provide well-rounded support to the advancement of football which is an integral part of sports in the country.”
She concluded by congratulating the teams both for their participation in the tournament and stellar performance during the matches. Both winning teams received trophies, certificates, balls, kits and a cash prize of UGX 1,000,000 each with the runners-up taking home certificates, balls, kits and a cash prize of UGX 500,000 each.