Over 72 girls and boys from twelve countries across the continent yesterday started five-day intensive soccer training at Azam Complex, Chamazi, on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam under coaches from Manchester United Soccer Schools.
This is the second time that Tanzania has been accorded the honor to host the training.
Speaking during the launching the guest of honor Mahadhi Juma Maalim who is the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation showered praise on Airtel for coming up with the youth football program designed to propel Africa into football prosperity.
The clinic provides the youngsters a rare opportunity to enjoy the wealth of football experience from Manchester United soccer schools curriculum which seeks to produce well balanced soccer players who can play attractive attacking game. The program is expected to dwell on technical, physical and behavioral aspects of football.
Maalim challenged the participating players to pay great attention to the training sessions and keep in mind that this clinic could be the beginning of their success in life through football.
‘You must bear in mind that football today is not just a source of entertainment but it has become a source of reliable employment to millions of people around the world’, he told the keen audience which included diplomatic corps, soccer officials from the Tanzania Football Federation and the media.
This year’s clinic brings together selected youngsters, girls and boys, from Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Niger, Madagascar, Gabon, Seychelles and the hosts Tanzania.
Earlier in his welcome speech, Airtel Tanzania managing director Sunil Colaso re-emphasised his company’s commitment to supporting the U-17 football program and in Tanzania and other parts of the continent.
He expressed his satisfaction on the passion and excitement that Airtel Rising Stars has created among players and supporters over the past three years of its existence.
‘The inter-country tournament held in Nigeria last year exhibited a lot of unique talents which is a clear testimony that this program has started meeting its preset goal’, said Colaso.
TFF President Jamal Malinzi underscored the importance of youth football programs and described Airtel initiatives to invest into football as stitch in time. Malinzi’s mission is to see Tanzania taking part in the Africa Cup of Nations next year.