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Excitement as Airtel-Arsenal Soccer Clinic Begins in Rwanda

….Nigerian Participants Relish Training Session
By Uche Peter
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Kigali, Rwanda; Monday, April 28th, 2014: It was pure joy and excitement as 26 youngsters from Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia united in Rwanda to participate in the coveted Arsenal/Airtel Soccer Clinic, a week-long intensive training programme, designed to develop, nurture and expose exceptional players who participated in the 2013 edition of the pan Africa Airtel Rising Stars football initiative.

The youngsters danced and chanted as they engaged in Dribbling/Turns/Dominating session at the first day of the Clinic holding at the expansive and sophisticated training pitch of Eto Khicukiro Technical College, Rwanda.

Joy Falegon, one of the Nigerian participants and highest goal scorer at the 2013 Edition of the Airtel Rising Stars National Championship in Lagos, described the opening training session as a glorious moment, saying the soccer clinic is a dream come true.

'I am in excellent shape and the feeling here, at the Soccer Clinic, is great. The coaches are extremely knowledgeable and experience and I am surrounded by the best soccer talents in Africa. This is good and I encourage Airtel to keep supporting programmes that will help develop youths to realize their full potentials,' she said as she wiped out sweat of hardwork from her face.

The six players flying Nigeria's flag at the one-week soccer clinic in Rwanda include Rilwan Adeleke (Best Goal Keeper, Male), Olu Gabriel (Highest Goal Scorer, Male) and Wisdom Uforo (Most Valuable Player, Male).

Others are Augustina Boniface (Best Goal Keeper, Female), Falegon Joy (Highest Goal Scorer, Female) and Kafayat Shittu (MVP, Female). The Arsenal Soccer Clinic will run from today, Monday, April 28 to Friday, May 2nd, 2014.

The Arsenal, UEFA certified coaches supervising the soccer clinic are Rupen Shah and Nathan Asare. Rupen Shah is currently assistant manager of the Under 11's team at Arsenal Ladies Centre of Excellence, and has coached for Arsenal for a number of years both in the UK and Internationally.

Nathan Asare is currently part of the Arsenal Football Club Community Coaching team, delivering football sessions in and around the local community, and as part of residential courses both in the UK and Internationally. He is also responsible for the management of the prestigious Arsenal FC Ball Boy Squad on match days.

The Airtel/Arsenal prestigious soccer clinic will feature courses covering Dribbling/Turns/Dominating, Passing, Receiving/Control and finishing and shooting. The kids will also be taught courses on personal management, personal effectiveness, leadership and motivation.

The Arsenal Clinic is the culmination of regional and national tournaments in 15 countries in the African continent. It is part of the Airtel Rising Stars program, a pan-African soccer talent initiative that is focused on identifying and nurturing soccer talent from the grassroots onto a national stage.

Touted as the biggest tournament in the continent, the Airtel Rising Stars attracted over 18,000 youth teams and 324,000 youth players across 16 countries. In addition to galvanising the biggest turnout during the championship stages, the program has also broken new ground by introducing girls to a pan African tournament.