MTN Uganda yesterday announced a national grassroots football development program to provide kits to needy, local village teams across the country. The program is set to give support to local footballers in Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Uganda.
The pilot program will see MTN Uganda acquire over 900 football kits which will be donated to football teams across the country covering all regions of Uganda. Ugx 50Million has already been invested for the first phase which will see over 66 village football teams acquire new, quality football uniforms and soccer balls.
MTN General Manager for Sales and Distribution Mr. Keith Tukei who was ecstatic about the potential of the program in developing the game while unveiling it said;
“The initiative is aimed at enhancing football playing experiences amongst children across the four regions of Uganda. Our aim as MTN Uganda is to grow the game of football, create inroads in spotting and identifying young, local talent and uplifting this talent to a national level”.
While speaking at the launch, Valery Okecho the MTN Manager for Corporate Communications stated that;
“Football as a sport unites us all. The love for the game challenges our team at MTN to continuously seek ways to supply talent towards national excellence. This program is aimed at supporting young footballers who felt that their talent would lead them nowhere, who had no hope of exporting it from the dusty playgrounds in the countryside to national recognition. We do this in tandem with the pre-existing grassroots football development initiatives spearheaded by the local football governing body. It is our strong belief that through this support we shall develop a nation full of confident, talented footballers not only from Central Uganda but also from Northern, Eastern and Western Uganda”.
The program which is expected to run annually will target grassroots football teams that are talented, have a good track record, show promise, participate in local football tournaments and are not part of the top flight teams in the national league. The teams will have to officially register using a certain criteria that will look into their performance, promise and good conduct.
The Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) hailed this initiative by MTN Uganda and ‘pledged to support it because it helps tap and develop talent across the country.’