Great possibilities and great opportunities; the 2021 World Rally Championship is here with us
By SELINA CHITERI
In an event that will bring together different nationalities to the savannahs of Kenya, Kenya is privileged to host the 2021 World Rally Champion right on its soil. With sports being a major component in national identity, Kenya has over the years grown to produce international sportsmen and women who have represented the country in major international sports events in and out of the country. Adding on to the country’s past successes, Kenya has proven, yet again, that it not only produces great sports icons but also successfully hosts international events.
A symbol of pride and unity, the 2021 World Rally Champion is set take place in Kenya after a 19-year wait. This will take place at the tail end of the month of June, specifically on the 24th-27th, with an anticipated revenue of Sh6bn to be pumped into the economy. Moreover, the event is a major boost in employment, especially in the hospitality and tourism industries and a greater market for Kenyan products.
This event is yet another great opportunity to showcase ourselves as a country of peace and unity and one that embraces diversity. It is an opportunity to market the country as a Sports tourism destination as we continually redefine Kenya as a country of great possibilities and opportunities.
Backed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has shown extreme personal commitment in ensuring the success of the event, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed confirmed that Kenya is indeed the home of the Safari Rally in the African continent. The President had intensively campaigned for the event that has now accorded the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County global recognition. The town is located 91 kilometres West of Nairobi. More to this is the fact that more Kenyans will enjoy the event at the comfort of their homes which will be broadcast by the national television, KBC.
As other major global events, stakeholders are akin to the fact that this is their opportunity to shine and position themselves on a global scale. Stakeholders involved include the Ministry of Sport , Culture and Heritage, the media, motorsports companies as well as Betika who have come in as sponsors of our local sportsmen and women. Furthermore, the government has put in the much-needed investment to position the Championship for success which Chief of Staff under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage has termed it as ‘a moment of pride for the East African Nation’.
The championship will be a great thrill and nostalgic of the days of the legendary Patrick Njiru and Ian Duncan who flew the Kenya flag high back in the days. This time, Kenya will host 24 foreign drivers and our own 34 local drivers. Among the Kenyan big names will be with State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, Carl Tundo, Onkar Rai and Karan Patel. It is definitely going to be full of adrenalin and arguably bring us together in celebrating our achievements as a country.
Let the Kenya flag fly high!
Ms Chiteri is a communications consultant and graduate student in corporate communication. [email protected]