The minister commended Airtel Tanzania for partnering with the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to develop football in Tanzania.
“Youth football program is the cornerstone for football growth anywhere in the world. That is why I have come here to re-emphasise the significance of ARS whose fruits over the past five years are very conspicuous”, said Nnauye.
He made reference to the U-17 football national team Serengeti Boys which constitute ten key players from ARS. “ARS products also form the entire national women team, Twiga Stars squad”, said Nnauye. Players realised from this program are also available in first division and the premier league.
The minister urged football administrators to take the youth program seriously and maximise the realisation of football talent that ARS tournament continue to offer. The event kickoff from the grassroots culminating into the national finals held every year in Dar es Salaam.
Speaking at a the launch ceremony, Airtel Tanzania director of communication Beatrice Singano expressed the company’s commitment to continue supporting the youth tournament which has added a lot of value on the face of Tanzania football in the past five years.
She said that this year’s edition constitutes part of the ongoing Airtel FURSA campaign launched last year with the aim to empower the youth by providing them with various enabling opportunities. “ARS in itself is Airtel FURSA as its ultimate objective is empowering and transforming the lives of the youth who are passionate about football”, said Singano.
“With customers across Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, our firm feels obliged to give part of its revenue back to the community through football which is number one sport in Tanzania. It is a way of acknowledging the continued support we get from our customers over the years”, she said.
On his part, the TFF president Jamal Malinzi commended the mobile telephone service provider for their continued support towards youth football program which has made a difference in Tanzania football. “I truly believe that by placing emphasis on the youth, we will be able to attain our goal in representing Tanzania globally in the near future”, he said.
This year ARS tournament will draw participants from Mwanza, Morogoro, Mbeya, Temeke, Ilala and Morogoro regions in boys’ category while Ilala, Kinondoni, Temeke, Arusha, Lindi and Zanzibar will take part in girls’ category.