Sport

KCB hands Safari Rally Sh100 million boost

KCB hands Safari Rally Sh100 million boost

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed (second right), Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo (second left), and WRC Safari Rally CEO Phenius Kimathi (left) receiving a Sh100million cheque from KCB CEO Joshua Oigara (right) during a WRC presser on April 27,2021 at the Kasarani Stadium.

Photo credit: Lokeder Natiom | Nation Media Group

The 2021 Safari Rally got a major boost Tuesday when KCB Bank Kenya ploughed in Sh100 million sponsorship into the World Rally Championship (WRC) event.

KCB Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara handed over the sponsorship cheque to the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohammed, at the Safari Rally offices at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Tuesday.

Also present was the Kenya Motorsports Federation (KMSF) president Phineas Kimathi.

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 building a critical mass of sporting talents.

“We take pleasure that our sponsorship has sustained motorsport and helped build a critical mass of talent competing in local and international platforms,” said Oigara, adding that their ambition is to progress this association into the elite level of global rallying.

Oigara, who is also KCB Bank Managing Director, said that they believe the upcoming event is a great opportunity to demonstrate Kenya’s growing credentials as a global sports powerhouse.

The bank is the official financial partner of the Safari Rally that will be held from June 24-27.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed watering a newly planted tree at Kasarani Stadium during the WRC Presser on April 27, 2021.

Photo credit: Lokeder Natiom | Nation Media Group

The Safari Rally will be making a return to the WRC for the first time in 19 years.

Over the past 18 years, Oigara noted that KCB Bank has invested over Sh1.2 billion towards supporting motorsports, largely rallies and autocross circuits, through KMSF.

Additionally, over the past decade, KCB Bank has invested Sh820 million in supporting the Bank’s sports teams- football, volleyball, rugby, and chess and over Sh 300 million on golf in the past decade.

“The deal cements our bank’s footprint in supporting sports which cuts across various disciplines—motorsports, golf, athletics, chess, rugby, volleyball, and football," explained Oigara.

An elated Amina noted that the sponsorship is a significant milestone for the Safari Rally.

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

This year’s championship will involve three works teams – Hyundai Motorsport, Toyota and M-Sport (Ford) covering 797 kilometers in Nairobi, Naivasha and Kiambu counties.

Kimathi, who is also the Safari Rally chief executive officer, said that they are confident of hosting a bigger and exciting event after successfully staging the African Rally Championship (ARC) Equator Rally over the weekend.

Kimathi said after roping in KCB Bank as their financial partners, the event that is funded jointly by public private partners, will see more companies coming on board next week.

“We can’t quantify the actual cost of the event because we are learning since everything is new for us with the event making a return to the WRC vanguard, “said Kimathi, adding that lot of the investment will be utilised over the years.

“A lot of it is capital investment that will be utilised at the service park, installation of fiber cables and electricity at the park and medical equipment,”said Kimathi.