Stay in school, Rising Stars told

By Michael Nsubuga

ohn Odongo the Chairman FUFA North Eastern and delegate advised the parents not to discourage their sporting children but support them

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The importance of balancing sports and academics was re-emphasized as the Airtel Rising Stars regional qualifiers made a stopover at the Soroti Sports Club Ground on Sunday.
Speaking to the finalists after the finals of the regional qualifiers, Simon Peter Edoru, the Soroti District vice chairperson advised the youngsters to find a balance between education and football.
"As much as you are playing football, stay at school. The Uganda of today, without papers you're a nobody; even being an executive of FUFA, you need papers certified by National Council of Sports, so it is not wise to concentrate on football alone," Edoru advised.
In a separate interview, Ben Okiria who was the north eastern region Most Valuable player re-echoed Edoru's call advising his fellow youngsters to ‘concentrate on football but not forget academics'.
John Odongo the Chairman FUFA North Eastern and delegate advised the parents not to discourage their sporting children but support them.
On the pitch, Lifeline Academy from Bukedea emerged champion of the north east in the boys' categories after a 1-0 win over Olila High School. Michael Okedi's first half strike ensured victory for Lifeline who denied Olila a double after they had won the girls' final 3-0 on penalties, after a 1-1 draw over Echoes.

 Echoes' Agnes Akunyo (center) clears away from Olila's striker Dorcus Lwalisa (right) and her goalkeeper Sarah Anyipo (left) during the Airtel Rising Stars North Eastern Region girls final at Soroti Sports Club ground. PHOTO: Michael Nsubuga

Amoding Siprosa, Cecilia Apiding and Eunice Ariokot scored for Olila in the shoot-out while Echoes missed all their attempts from Lydia Ayango, Irene Martha Ajuro and Irene Adongo.
All the eastern region finals were settled on penalties after goalless draws in both the girls' and boys' finals.
In the girls' final, Beatrice Adukule, Catherine Namataka, Zabinah Namboozo, Halima Nambafu, and Esther Nabonyo all converted their penalties for She Kataka who bagged back to back wins while Halima Babirye, Shakira Nakasango, and Rashida Nanangu scored for Town View in a losing effort.
Busia's Trust SS were victors in the boys' final, winning a dramatic shoot-out 6-5 after nine attempts from each side.  
Keita Ndifuna, Bernard Habinda, Conrad Ojiambo, Saddam Nyegenye, Abdallah Hassan and Oscar Mugeni netted their attempts for the champions while John Bosco Kaboge, Collins Otim, Ronald Madoi, Sulaiman Kimbugwe and Lazarus Ochira scored for Tororo's True Vine SS after Phillip Egesa, Alex Akankwasa and Brian Kizito had missed their attempts.
Zubair Weitalo and John Kisekka had also missed their attempts earlier for Trust SS but it didn't matter in the end as Trust won their first Airtel Rising Stars trophy.
The winning teams pocketed sh1.5m while the runners up received sh1m from Scovia Ninsiima the Airtel Regional Business Manager-Eastern who challenged the easterners to win the national finals.
Individual & Team Accolades - East & North East Regions:
Most Valuable Players
Eastern region
Girls: Esther Namata (She Kataka)
Boys: Ivan Nabisingura (Busia Trust)
North East
Girls: Sarah Anifo (Echoes High School)
Boys: Ben Okiria (Olila High School)
Top Scorers
Eastern region
Girls: Esther Namata (She Kataka) - 4 goals
Boys: Shakuru Mafabi (Kataka) - 5 goals
North East
Girls:  Amoding Sifora (Olila High School) - 3 goals
Boys: Michael Okeddi (Lifeline) - 6 goals
Best Goalkeepers
Girls: Elizabeth Nyago
Boys: Ashraf Wambye (True Vine Academy)
North East
Girls:  Eclas Ajumo (Olila High School)
Boys: Edward Etewo
Finals-North East
Boys: Lifeline Academy 1 Olila 0
Girls: Olila 1 (3) Echoes 1 (0)
Finals Eastern
Boys: True Vine 0 (5) Trust SS 0 (6)
Girls: She Kataka 0 (5) Town View 0 (3)