Speech By Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohammed, Egh, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of Sports, Culture And Heritage, During The Launch Of The Iten Urban Economic Plan
H.E. Hon. Alex Tolgos, Elgeyo Marakwet County Governor
H. E. Jane Elliot, British High Commissioner,
Elgeyo Marakwet, County Deputy Governor,
Rtd Gen. Jackson Tuwei, the Chairman Sports Arts and Social Development Fund and President of Athletics Kenya;
Members of National Assembly present,
County Commissioner, Elgeyo Marakwet;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to join you at this launch of the Urban Economic Plan for Iten Municipality executed in partnership with the United Kingdom Government through the Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED).
The British Government contribution to Sustainable Urban Economic Development and value chain projects in 12 municipalities in Kenya is commendable, encouraging and demonstrates the power and synergies that partnerships generate. For Iten, Sports is the cornerstone that will stimulate market driven growth as well as attract investment across all economic sectors.
The investment in sports facilities from the National Government, the Elgeyo Marakwet County Government and the British Government (SUED Programme) will open up concrete opportunities for young sports talents both local and international. It will also boost sports tourism and boost Iten’s urban development status.
Ladies and gentlemen
Elgeyo Marakwet County and Iten in particular, have a special place in the sports history of our country. For over 40 years now, the home of champions has produced top-notch athletes that have had outstanding performance in World Athletics competitions. Among them are;
Wilson Boit Kipketer
The declaration by the World Athletics President, Lord Sebastian Coe to recognize Iten as a World Athletics Heritage Site confirms the importance and contribution of Iten to global athletics history.
The Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage through the Kenya Academy of Sports will roll out comprehensive sports talent development programmes through establishment of Sports Academies across the country to harness talent as early as possible.
The development of Kamariny Elite hub and Iten Sports Park which are part of the Iten’s Urban Economic Plan being launched here today will be at the core of nurturing athletics talent. Indeed, Iten has transformed the lives of many sportsmen, it has been the converging place where careers in elite sports have been shaped and elevated to international standards. The recognition of the town as a World Athletic Heritage site is an honor to these great heroes and heroines to Elgeyo Marakwet County and to our country.
I wish to honor the contribution made by coaches, sports officials, sports administrators and the local communities in supporting these men and women achieve their potential.
I cannot conclude without mentioning that the greatest threat to our sports excellence and to the health of our athletes is doping. My plea today is that we all join hands, the whole sports infrastructure in our country to protect our sporting prowess and heritage from these illegal practices and habits.
Let Iten be the symbol of clean sports for all sports disciplines and let’s emphatically prove to the world that we truly are the home of champions by practicing clean and safe sports.
I, once again thank the British Government for their continued support to Kenya’s development projects and hope that we will continue partnering at National and County Government levels
Finally, let me urge County Governments and the corporate sector to invest the development of sports in our country in recognition of the place of sports in the development of our youth.