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First Lady Kenyatta handed award by WHO

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta is joined by IAAF CEO Jon Ridgeon during the event in Geneva

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 19 – First lady Margaret Kenyatta was on Sunday presented with the 2019 Health Leaders award by World Health organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom in recognition of her outstanding advocacy on global health matters.

Kenyatta who is the patron of the First Lady’s Marathon and was also Kenya’s patron of the IAAF World Under-18 Championship held in Nairobi in 2017 was part of WHO’s ‘Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge’ event at the Place des Nations in Geneva.

“Physical activity is the bedrock of healthy living that prevents many illnesses. Linking this to good nutrition and reinforcing healthy habits, including physical exercise, is something we as leaders need to encourage in our communities,” Kenyatta said.

The event was organized in association with the IAAF and also present was Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed.

“Today is not just about sport; it’s about promoting health for all. We have all come together with one goal: to demonstrate that we cannot take health for granted,” said Adhanom.

Four-time New York City Marathon champion Mary Keitany was also in attendance alongside European half marathon champion Tadesse Abraham and IAAF CEO Jon Ridgeon.

Other special guests in attendance included Formula One racing driver Romain Grosjean and mental health advocate Cynthia Germanotta, Lady Gaga’s mother.

Celebrating its second edition, the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge celebrated the importance of health and physical activity, a core value of the IAAF and one which it actively promotes and encourages around the world through initiatives and activities such as Run 24-1 delivered by its athletes and its 214 Member Federations.

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On a day that featured music, dance, drums and yoga, Ridgeon joined Keitany and Abraham in one of the mass-participation runs, promoting the IAAF’s Clean Air campaign and the Run 24-1 global campaign to get people moving.

“It’s been a brilliant day to be reminded of the global power of running,” said Ridgeon. “Let’s work in partnership with organisations like the WHO to get the world moving.”


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