The 12 best young footballers in the country, selected through the Airtel Rising Stars program, will embark on an unforgettable tour of Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, on Saturday, 17 November 2012.
During their one-week stay in England, the boys will visit the Manchester United Academy, go on a tour of the Old Trafford stadium and dressing rooms, visit the Manchester United Megastore as well as attend the English Premier League match between Manchester United and the Queen’s Park Rangers played at Old Trafford. In their leisure time they will also visit the Trafford Centre, the largest shopping centre in the United Kingdom.
The Airtel Rising Stars program was an island-wide talent hunt at which the 12 best young footballers in the country were selected by independent coaches from Manchester United to visit Old Trafford in England for an opportunity to meet and interact with the Manchester United football team.
Under the program, selections were held in Jaffna, Colombo, Mannar, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Badulla, Kurunegala, Hatton, Kandy, Kalutara, Matara, Negombo, Kilinochchi and Kalmunai to select the best players between the ages of 15-19.
After a grueling session of tryouts in the 14 centres, the 48 shortlisted players came to Colombo for an intensive training workshop with the Manchester United coaches, which also included academic sessions on discipline, training, nutrition, practice methods as well as drills and six-a-side matches, ending with a full 11-a-side match.
The Airtel Rising Stars progam kicked off in July with the endorsement of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and with support from Namal Rajapaksa and the ‘Tharunyata Hetak’ organisation and the players will also meet with the President and seek his blessings before embarking on their visit to Manchester United.