Boost as KCB sponsors 2022 WRC

Saturday, June 4th, 2022 07:01 | By
Leo Varese (left) with his navigator Kigondu Kareithi are joined by Suzanne Mutile of Kenya Tourism Board during the Equator Rally in March. PD/PHILLIP KAMAKYA

The 2022 World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally yesterday got a major boost after banking giant KCB injected Sh 100 million towards the event scheduled to take place from June 23 – 26, 2022 in Naivasha Nakuru County.

The support will also see the Bank sponsor two young Kenyan drivers – Evans Kavisi and Nikhil Sachania – who will be representing Team KCB in the world showpiece event.

Speaking while unveiling the two drivers, KCB Group Chief Executive Officer Paul Russo said that the bank is keen on deepening its contribution towards sports in the East African region to support communities and build a critical mass of sporting talents.

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

The rally championship returned to Kenya in 2020, after a two-decade hiatus. In 2021, the Safari Rally attracted 53 entries, out of which 34 of them were local Kenyan drivers. This year, the 5th edition of the World Circuit is also expected to have over 50 local and international drivers.

WRC Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi said the 4-day world showpiece event will go a long way in cementing Kenya’s value as the only country to host the WRC event.

“KCB’s commitment to nurturing and developing sports in the country is unmatched. The sponsorship of the two drivers ensures that Team Kenya is well represented in this year’s circuit,” he said.  “This year’s fete is ground-breaking with the technological advancements made and specifically focusing on a sustainable future for all through rallying.”

In 2019, KCB became the Official Financial Partner for the Safari Rally Kenya for the World Rally Championship (WRC) Rally, with a 3-year commitment starting with a WRC Candidate event staged in June 2019. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, motorsports activities were suspended. 

In 2021, Kenya was officially readmitted to the WRC with the inclusion of Safari Rally in the WRC calendar. For this 3-year engagement, KCB has committed Sh 250 million—Sh50 million for 2019, Sh100 million in 2021 and Sh100 million in 2022.

This deal cements the Bank’s footprint in supporting sports activities across various disciplines in the country namely Golf, Football, Motorsports, Rugby, and Volleyball.                            

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

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