We’ll be ready to host Safari Rally, expect sports action soon: Amina

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed says Kenya will be ready to host the Safari Rally next year, while also giving a hint that sports action will be back soon as the government plans to systematically ease restrictions in the wake of Covid- 19 pandemic. Addressing the press after supervising works on the ongoing construction of a service bay in KWS Training Institute in Naivasha on Friday for the World Championship Rally (WRC) which has been postponed to next year, Amina insisted that the work progress is ahead of time in readiness for the competition. “I have been pleased with the work in progress ahead of the championship next year, I’m a hundred percent sure they will beat the deadline and Kenya will be ready for the world . We are ready as a country even if we are told to host in September we will do it, we never stopped working even after the date was postponed,” said Amina. The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted the 2020 WRC calendar with so far only three rallies in the 14-round championship have been run, namely in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Mexico. “There will be a lot of equipment that will be brought in the country ahead of the race; these will also include cars for the competition. This will happen a month before the competition; that’s why this service park has to be ready,”added Amina. The CS assured environmentalists that the rally would not affect the ecosystem of Hellsgate national park where it would be held. “We expect thousands of rally lovers in Naivasha during the period and we shall use the event to showcase our country’s potential and tourists destination,” she said. At the same time, Amina said sports lovers across the country have a reason to smile after the government said it was ready to allow back sports activity in the coming weeks. Three months after the government suspended sports due to Covid-19, Amina was however quick to warn that strict health regulations would have to be observed and implemented before sports is allowed back. “The Cabinet will be meeting soon to address the issue an we have engaged various stakeholders like KPL and the Ministry of Health on how players can return to field,” she said. Amina noted that Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums which have been under repairs would be opened in the coming week ahead of the expected return to the field. On his part, Safari Rally Project CEO Phineas Kimathi exuded confidence that the country would host the event next year despite the cancellations caused by Covid-19. He said that the move to postpone the event had given the organizers more time to prepare ground work for the event that would be viewed by billions around the world. “On a normal day Maasai Mara hosts over 800 cars and in Hellsgate there will be around 50 cars and the wildlife won’t be affected and this will be an opportunity to sell the national park,” he said. He went on:  “Kenya is number one in Africa when it comes to Safari Rally in Africa, so despite the Covid 19 challenge the drivers are practicing on their own and I’m sure they will make Kenya and the whole world excited ,”stated the CEO. Kenyan round of the World Rally Championship was to take place on the weekend of July 6th -19th  but was pushed due to Covid- 19 . Report by Festus Lango and John Kyanda

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