Kenya inched closer to hosting the 2017 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) W-U18 championships when the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta launched the official website for the iconic event.
With only 134 days to the kick-off of the 10th edition of the IAAF championships in Nairobi slated for July 12- 16, the First Lady said the website will serve as the nerve centre of the championships, providing information to all stakeholders.
She is the current patron of the Biennial IAAF world U18 championships
“The website will also serve the thousands of visitors who are planning to visit our country for the championships-many of them for the first time”, said the First Lady during the colorful launch ceremony of the website at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, today.
Besides being the primary point of contact for the participants and attendees, said the First Lady, the website will also serve as their 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’, she said
A total of 2000 athletes of various disciplines are expected in Nairobi in July where they will be representing over 150 countries from all over the world.
Besides the sporting fraternity drawn globally, thousands of other visitors are also expected in the country to have a first-hand experience of Kenya, a country recognized internationally as a powerhouse of long distance runners.
During the previous 9 editions of the IAAF championships held in Poland, Germany, Canada, Morocco, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Ukraine and Colombia, Kenya has always emerged between positions 1-3 beating such many other world sporting giants.
At the inaugural 1999 IAAF world U18 championships in Poland , Kenya emerged position one after beating 150 other countries . Kenya also held position 2 in 2001(Germany), 2005 (Morocco), 2007 ( Czech Republic), 2011 ( France), 2013 ( Ukraine) and 2015 in Colombia.
Sporting enthusiasts are optimistic that no country can beat Kenya (in Athletics) at home during the forthcoming championships.
The First Lady said , as patron, she will do whatever it takes to ensure the success of the championships adding that the event is a historic moment, not only for Kenya, but the entire East African region.
She said by staging a successful event, Kenya will be demonstrating to the world how capable the country 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”, she added.
The First Lady said the championships also provide an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the diverse sporting abilities of youth from across the world, Kenya included.
“As patron, I see the upcoming Championships offer a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate, applaud and recognize the diverse talents and abilities of youth across the world
Invitations have already been sent out to all the 214 IAAF member countries requesting them to send in names of Athletes that will represent respective countries.
Sports, Culture and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario, IAAF W-U18 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) chairman Lt-Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei , LOC Chief Executive Officer of the championships Mwangi Muthee and Kenyatta University (where all the Athletes will reside) Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina assured the First Lady that everything was going well and will be ready within the set deadlines.