The first Arsenal-run Airtel Rising Stars coaching clinic for talented youngsters took place in Accra, Ghana in September 2012.
The week-long clinic, attended by 40 boys and girls from Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria, was managed by two of Arsenal Soccer Schools' most experienced coaches, Paul Sevier and Robert Grant.
The courses are based on the same principles used at the Club’s training ground to ‘Play the Arsenal Way’ and develop young players’ technical skills and passion for the game, to ensure that their potential is realised.
We saw the lads play this afternoon and you could tell that they had learnt the Arsenal way of playing, albeit within just a week of coaching, and they were applying it beautifully on the field of playRay Parlour
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour also joined the final three days of the clinic to pass on his experience of being a top Premier League player to the youngsters.
Airtel Rising Stars in one of the most important parts of Arsenal’s three-year relationship with Airtel and Ray was delighted to be part of the Club’s first coaching clinic on the African continent.
Having played with a number of high-profile African players during his time at Arsenal, including Kanu of Nigeria and Cameroon’s Lauren, he believes that the Airtel Rising Stars programme will serve as a good platform to nurture and grow the next generation of African Stars.
Speaking at the closing ceremony for the activity, Soccer Schools coach Paul Sevier said that he has been impressed by the standards and commitment of the young players.
“I have said before that if I had to pick a team of players to play a semi or even professional team from Africa, I would not look beyond these individuals; they are talented, their technique is wonderful and they are ever so ready to listen and to learn," he said. "We have been privileged to have met these boys and girls and to have trained them."
Arsenal will continue to support the Airtel Rising Stars programme with experienced coaching support over the next three years with clinics in Africa and London.