Welcome to Nottwil for the first World Para Athletics Junior Championships.
Over the next four days, young athletes from across the world will showcase their abilities at this great venue, where some of the world´s best Paralympic athletes have competed and set world records.
It is with great pride that we gather in Nottwil again for another big Para athletics event, following on from this track hosting its fourth consecutive World Para Athletics Grand Prix.
With these beautiful surroundings, and the Swiss people’s welcoming spirit, I have no doubts that all who participate in this Junior Worlds in any role will enjoy an unforgettable experience.
For most of you athletes, this is going to be your first and only chance to compete at a World Junior Championships. In three years’ time, Tokyo will host the Paralympic Games and I am sure I will see many of you there. It will depend on your spirit of self-improvement, hard work and perseverance.
But regardless of your goals, whether you’re targeting a medal or just improving your performance, do not forget to make friends from around the world, have fun and always play fair.
I also want to thank the Organising Committee, World Para Athletics, our technical officials, volunteers and commercial partners, all of whom have made this first World Junior Championships possible.
Good luck to all!
I now have the honour to declare open the Nottwil 2017 World Para Athletics Junior Championships.