Safari Rally gets Sh100m ahead of WRC

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 00:00 |
From left: Sports PS Joe Okudo, Safari Rally competition Boss Phineas Kimathi, Sports CS Amina Mohamed and KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara during the unveiling of the sponsorship yesterday. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

KCB Group has committed Sh100 million in sponsorship towards the 2021 World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally, which will return to Kenya after a 19-year absence.

The deal amplifies the bank’s support for sports that cuts across various disciplines, including motorsports, golf, athletics, chess, rugby, volleyball and football.

The Shs100 million will be channeled through WRC Safari Rally Kenya. 

Speaking during the presentation attended by Sports CS Amina Mohamed, KCB Group CEO Joshua  Oigara said the bank is keen on further deepening its contribution towards sports in the East African region as a way of supporting communities and development talent.

“We take pleasure that our sponsorship has sustained motorsport and helped build a critical mass of talent competing in local and international platforms.

The ambition is to take this association into the elite level of global rallying. We believe the upcoming event is a great opportunity to demonstrate Kenya’s growing credentials as a global sports powerhouse,” said Oigara said on Tuesday.

In the past 18 years, KCB has invested over Sh1.2 billion towards supporting motorsports, largely rallies and autocross circuits, through the Kenya Motorsports Federation (KMSF). 

Additionally, over the past decade, KCB has invested Sh820 million in supporting the bank’s sports teams -- football,volleyball, rugby, and chess. The bank has also spent over Sh300 million on golf in the past 10 years. 

“The sponsorship is a significant milestone for the Safari Rally as we have an indigenous institution supporting one of the most iconic events in Africa.

KCB has been proactive in supporting sporting activities and nurturing of talents around the country across all the games,” said Mohamed.

The WRC competition will see the return of the world’s best drivers competing on Kenyan soil. This year’s championship will cover 797 kilometers in Nairobi, Naivasha and Kiambu counties, said Phineas Kimathi, KMSF chairman and chief  executive, WRC Safari Rally. 

“After successfully staging African Rally Championship (ARC) Equator Rally over the weekend, we are confident that we can host a bigger and even more exciting  event,” said Kimathi.

WRC is one of the oldest and leading global motorsport competitions and is governed by Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, (FIA). The championship returns to Kenya in 2020, after a nearly two-decade hiatus. 

The 2020 competition was put off after the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

The financial institution is the Official Financial Partner in the championship which will be held On June 24-27, 2021. 

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