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Speech by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic Of Kenya

Speech by Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic Of Kenya During the Official Launch of the IAAF World Under 18 Championships Nairobi 2017 Website at Kasarani Stadium

 Tuesday 28th February 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today is a very exciting day for us, as we gear up for the 10th Edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Under 18 Championships, which Kenya will be hosting between July 12 – July 16th this year. It is a historic moment for our country – and for the East African region – where over 2000 athletes from 150 countries are expected to join us right here in our capital city to compete.

As Patron, I see the upcoming Championships offer a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate, applaud and recognise the diverse talents and abilities of youth across the world. Every competing athlete will serve as an inspiration to young people globally — a testament to the reality that age does not necessarily define ability, and that with sacrifice, hard work, perseverance and commitment anyone — however young — can achieve their goals.

We are especially proud of all the young Kenyan athletes who are, even now, hard at work – preparing to participate. I want to wish them all the very best in their preparations and offer my unyielding support and admiration.
Ensuring the seamless operation of such a significant event is a multi-agency, team effort, and I am committed to doing everything in my power, as Patron, to ensure its success. The briefings I have received from the Local Organising Committee on the ongoing work confirms that the joint efforts have been solidified and making phenomenal progress in the ongoing work both here at the competing centre, and at the Athletes Village in Kenyatta University. Having toured the facilities last week, I am confident that actualisation of the logistical and operational plans is well on course to complete the work on schedule and ready to host a successful IAAF Under 18 Championship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are here to mark a milestone in our path to a successful event – the launch the official Championships website for the event. This important platform will serve as the nerve-centre of the Championships, providing information to participants, stakeholders, and also serve the thousands of visitors who are planning to visit our country for the Championships —- many of them for the first time. The website will be the primary point of contact for many participants and attendees of the event; their first connection to Kenya. So I want to thank the developers and designers who created this website for their fantastic work, and urge those in charge of maintaining the platform to ensure it reflects the very best of our country.

As I conclude, let me once again congratulate the LOC and stakeholders for their energy and commitment to ensuring a successful IAAF World Under 18 Championship. We look forward to demonstrating to the world how capable Kenya is in delivering a world-class event and experience. As we do that, there is no doubt that we will receive many more hosting opportunities.
It is now my pleasure to officially launch the IAAF World Under 18 Championships website.
Thank you.