Giant network operator Bharti Airtel has invited Manchester United’s most decorated club legend Peter Schmeichel to grace the inaugural event of its Airtel Rising Stars African Championships and Soccer Clinic.
The clinics are set up to help budding stars receive training ‘the Manchester United way.’
The clinics selects boys and girls from nine African countries and provide specialized training program to harness the natural capabilities of the selected students from across Africa.
The first-ever Airtel Rising Stars Africa Championship begins on August 25 in Nairobi and is a partnership between Airtel and Manchester United. Airtel wants to use the resources available through the Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) managed clinics to nurture local talent in Africa.
According to Airtel Africa’s chief marketing officer Andre Beyers, the Airtel Rising Stars program was structured to provide a platform for upcoming talent to showcase their raw talent and improve through interaction with coaches and top players.
“We are delighted that Manchester United has provided the opportunity for Africa’s future stars to interact with a soccer icon of Schmeichel’s stature and experience,” he said.
Peter Schmeichel spent eight years at Old Trafford and won the team several awards. He won five Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the Champions League was last month appointed club ambassador to join former players like Sir Bobby Charlton, Dwight Yorke, Bryan Robson, Gary Neville, and Andy Cole.
Manchester United’s commercial director Richard Arnold said: “We are pleased to be able to team up with Airtel Africa to bring this fantastic project to the Africa. Now in its second year we hope that the programme has gone to enthuse some of Manchester United’s 147 million followers across Africa.
“I am sure the introduction of an intercontinental tournament and the presence of Peter Schmeichel at the first ever Airtel Rising Stars Africa Championship final will be an inspirational experience.
“Its popularity has seen the number of registrations overtake those of last year’s tournament, demonstrating the strength of the Airtel and Manchester United partnership.”
Manchester United Soccer Schools have also named Mathew Gregory, Michael Beckham, Stuart McClarty and Steve Nixon as the coaches to run the coaching clinic in Nairobi.
Airtel had similar program take place last year in Dar es salaam, Tanzania and Gabon. This is Airtel’s second Soccer Clinic done in partnership with the Manchester United Soccer Schools program.