The country wide regional qualifiers for the 2016 Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Boys and Girls tournament successfully climaxed at Kakyeeka Stadium in Mbarara on Sunday.

Mbarara district hosted Western and Kitara Regional teams from Friday through to Sunday.

This followed earlier regional qualifiers that were played in Kampala, Buganda, Eastern, North East, West Nile and Northern Regions.

Kampala held their qualification matches at the Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku and Kabowa Primary School grounds

Buganda was in Mubende, Eastern combined with the North Eastern in Soroti whilst Northern and West Nile Regions played in Arua Municipality.

Western Region Final: Catherine Naggadya of Sentah College was the girls’ MVP

During the Western Regional qualifiers, teams from as far as Kisoro took part in the Western Region and four Fort Portal teams represented the Kitara Region.

Sentah College and Fucam won the boys and girls respective categories in the Western Region.

In the Kitara Region, Bukuku Girls Academy team won the girls category and Friends Of Soccer overcame Hill Side to win the boys’ main accolade.

Chief guest at the Western and Kitara Regional finals Chris Kalibala, also a FUFA Executive Committee member hailed the Government of Uganda for providing the perfect tranquil environment that has helped companies as Airtel Uganda to conduct business which in return sponsor the Airtel Rising Stars and the national team.

We are happy for President Museveni and the NRM Government for providing good political climate that has helped companies like Airtel Uganda to operate.

Airtel Uganda has rewarded football by sponsoring the national team (Uganda Cranes), Masaza and the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 football

Airtel Uganda Brand and Assets Manager, Musa Mayanja appreciated all the participating teams throughout the qualifiers and wished them fruitful deliberations at the nationals in Lira.

Musa Muyanja of Airtel Uganda delivering his speech at the official prize giving ceremony in Mbarara

He once again re-echoed Airtel Uganda’s commitment to support football and youth football in particular.

Since 2011, we have been supporting the ARS U-17 football programme.

We remain committed to the cause because it is a worthwhile project to sponsor.

Airtel Uganda is also glad to sponsor the Uganda Cranes and now the Buganda Masaza football tournament

Like in all the previous regions, all the excelling players, coaches and teams (winners and runners up) were rewarded with different prizes.

The best two teams per region each got a trophy, gold medals and Ug.shs 1M with the runners up taking home a trophy, silver medals and Ug.shs 0.5M.

Kisoro Young Simba’s midfielder Salim Abdalla recieves his prize, an Airtel Smart phone for being the MVP from the Western region qualifiers

Uganda national U-17 team (Uganda Cubs) head coach, Peter Onen and the ladies’ Hadijah ‘Lady Mouriho’ have been closely monitoring all the regional qualifiers with a prime target to identify talent which will be used at the Uganda U-17 national team.

Uganda is set to host the CECAFA U-17 championship at the start of 2017.

All the players from the respective regions will assemble in Lira for the national finals which will run from 27th to 30th October 2016.

Western Region Individual top performers:

Most Valuable Players (MVP’s):

Kitara Region:

Girls – Margret Kunihira (Bukuku) 

Boys – Paul Kyonga (Hill Side)

Western Region:
Boys – Salim Abdalla (Kisoro Young Simba)

Girls – Catherine Naggadya (Sentah College)

Top Scorers:

Girls:

Western Region: Marion Nakato and Rebbeca Nassuna – 2 goals (Sentah College)

Kitara Region: Margret Kunihira – 3 goals (Bukuku)

Boys:

Western Region: Justus Ssempijja – 5 Goals (Fucam)

Kitara Region: Andrew Sabita – 2 Goals (Friends of Soccer)

Best Coaches:

West Region:

Girls – Steven ‘Ferguson’ Kintu (Sentah College)

Boys – Andrew Sande (Kisoro Young Simba)

Kitara Region:

Girls – Jackson Atugonza (Friends of Soccer)

Boys – Rogers Ayesiga (Bukuku)

Best Goalkeepers:

Kitara Region:

Girls – Angel Kirungi (Friends of Soccer)

Boys – Nasir Amir (Friends of Soccer)

Western Region:

Girls – Jolly Muhirwe (Kisoro Young Simba)

Boys – Musa Zaidi (Fucam)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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