SPEECH BY AMB. (DR) AMINA C. MOHAMED, EGH, CAV, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF SPORTS, CULTURE AND HERITAGE DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE 2019 COPA COCA-COLA CHAMPIONSHIP, 2ND DECEMBER, 2019
Your Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your Excellency, on behalf of the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, the Coca-Cola System fraternity and all participants, I thank you most sincerely for presiding over the official launch of this year’s COPA Coca-Cola Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Your Excellency, COPA Coca-Cola is the world largest grassroots football tournament that provides an opportunity for young people with an opportunity to nurture, develop and showcase their football skills. It also provides a platform from which talented players can be scouted and recruited to join major national and premier league teams. This year, the tournament is featuring 12 teams from across Africa.
Your Excellency, your presence with us here today speaks of the great importance your government attaches to sports. This is in recognition of the enormous potential of sports to not only enrich the lives of individual sportsmen and women but also its huge contribution to the economy and to society as a whole.
In line with your Excellency’s directions, the Ministry is working hard to safeguard our reputation as a legend in sports and, more importantly, to propel sports in the country to an even higher level.
We are, in this regard, paying particular attention to sports among the youth. This is in appreciation of the growing importance of sports as a rewarding career option as well as the educational value it avails in terms of cultivating crucial values such as respect for rules, teamwork, fair play and self-confidence.
Your Excellency, this tournament will not only contribute to unlocking these benefits but also in enabling us to identify talent for further nurturing and development. In this connection, it is encouraging to know that a number of football stars sterling in different teams in the country and abroad, among them Dennis
Oliech, Arnold Origi, Musa Otieno, McDonald Mariga and Titus Mulama, were identified through COPA Coca-Cola tournaments.
Your excellency, we are very grateful to Coca-Cola for its continued sponsorship of this tournament and other sporting activities in the country. The Ministry is working to strengthen this, and other partnerships, moving into the future.
Your Excellency, it is now my pleasure to invite you to address us.
Welcome your Excellency