First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Margaret Kenyatta has unveiled medals that will be handed out during the World Athletics Under-20 Championship that will be staged at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani from August 17-22.
The medals have been inspired by Maasai ornament designs, with the strands made of beads. They were made out of a partnership between the State Department of Culture and Arts, in partnership with Ushanga Kenya.
The beads are a symbol of the rich Maasai culture inspired from the famous ornament ngarewa, which is a beaded piece of ornament made from cow skin that is worn by women around their necks.
“The women from Ushanga initiative have drawn the inspiration of these medals form the cultural heritage of the Maasai people and the symbolic ngarewa which symbolizes beauty and determination complements the resilience of our young athletes to be world beaters,” First Lady Kenyatta said as she launched the medals on Friday.
She added; “Our young athletes have developed beauty and resilience through training and competition, and they are a representation of it. It also emphasizes the World Athletics Championship’s concept and diversity.”
At the same time, she officially launched the Championship’s Mascot, Jabari the Lion.
“Our mascot denotes our brave, fearless and strong athletes and the spirit to ensure that we remain a massive sporting nation and compete to win and ensure that Kenya retains the overall title in Nairobi,” LOC CEO Mike Rabar said.
Meanwhile the First Lady who is also the Patron of the Championship was full of praise for the efforts put in by the Sports Ministry, Athletics Kenya and the Local Organizing Committee to ensure that everything is ready for the Championship.
She continues to believe that Kenya will stage a superb event, just like it did in 2017 during the World Under-18 Championship, despite this year’s event being held without fans due to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank everyone for their dedication and commitment to see this event take place. I am proud to be the patron of this event which underscores the rich talent that abounds in our youth. It will provide a chance to showcase Kenya as a centre of sporting excellence. We proved that we can do it when we hosted the Under-18 and now we won the bid for this event,” said Mrs Kenyatta.
Sports PS Joe Okudo, representing CS Amina Mohamed has said that Kenya will be ready to successfully host the event especially with the challenges expected out of the COVID-19 situation.
“We want to follow the lessons we have picked from the Tokyo Olympics especially regarding COVID. We want to ensure that no one leaves this country infected and we are working to ensure that we will have life as normal in this abnormal world,” said Okudo.
At the same time, the Organizing Committee also launched the theme song for the five-day event. The Song done by Kenyan Musician Nyashinski is a rendition of his famous song ‘Kipchoge’ and has been remixed to ‘Keep jogging’.
CEO Rabar said that the song resonates around mental health and mental wellness challenges especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed how the world lives.