By Sahr Morris Jnr.
Ferry FC youngster, Amadu Bah on Sunday won the inaugural Airtel Rising Stars Season (ARS) IV health run marathon which commenced from the National Stadium entrance at Syke Street to Aberdeen beach.
The event attracted over 200 male and female young runners including Airtel staff and other ex-footballers who ran through Syke Street, Congo Cross, Wilkinson Road, Lumley Round-About and Beach Road and finished at the Aberdeen beach closer to Family Kingdom complex.
Bah got-off to a flying start and maintained his lead to beat FC Kallon captain, Musa Kallon – who finished in second place.
FC Pizzo’s Shamsu Abu finished behind Kallon in third as the trio all scooped certificates and expensive Samsung Galaxy S4 phones from Airtel Mobile Company. The first 50 finishers were all recognized with well decorated Airtel Rising Stars certificates.
Before the race commenced, Deputy Minister of Sports Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh applauded the mobile outfit for such an innovation ahead of the proper commencement of the ARS Season IV tournament.
He said the idea of tapping young talents through the ARS will continue to have an impact in Sierra Leone football as he pledged his ministry’s continued support towards the tournament and youth football in the country.
He said: “The health run is a great idea which will help keep the players fit more especially when they are all preparing for the tournament. As a ministry we will continue to embrace youth football activities in the country.”
ARS Ambassador, who is former Leone Stars captain Mohamed Kallon, encouraged the boys to embrace the exercise and advised them to continue engaging in self training and exercises to always be fit.
He said: “As a player if you must succeed you have to keep working hard.”
Airtel Managing Director, Sudipto Chowdhury, said they were pleased to organize such activities as this year they are determined for the ARS to be much bigger than previous years.
He said the staging of the ARS health run was also to give everybody the chance to feel and have a taste of the tournament.
“Being part of this health run is not only about ARS tournament but giving everybody the taste and passion behind the ARS. We at Airtel want everyone to be part of the tournament and this is one way we can get people together. I am happy to be part of this because at Airtel we want the best for all Sierra Leoneans,” the Airtel MD said.