Annual Rhino Cup set for Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ken Kimani (left) of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, David Waters (centre) from Foundation for Youth Cricket and Rob Stevenson, Tournament Director Rhino Cup. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The 10th edition of the annual Rhino Cup Cricket tournament will be held at the scenic Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki on June 21-23.

The world’s renowned unique cricket showpiece will feature two main contests: the competitive Rhino Cup and the social Sudan Smash, providing opportunities for players of all levels to participate and contribute towards the noble cause.

Additionally, teams will compete for the prestigious Sudan Memorial Cup, which is awarded to the team that raise most funds for the event each year.

“As part of its charitable initiatives, the Rhino Cup covers all expenses for a team of young players from the EACDT's Foundation for Youth Cricket and Education in Kenya, providing them with a unique opportunity to experience wildlife conservation and participate in a major cricket tournament,” Rob Stevevanson, Rhino Cup event director, told Standard Sports.

The tournament, which continues its legacy of combining sports with wildlife conservation to raise funds for rhino conservation efforts and grassroots cricket development in Kenya, is aptly named in honour of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino.

It is famed for bringing together cricket enthusiasts, conservationists, and communities for a weekend of cricketing action amidst the breathtaking backdrop of Ol Pejeta's wildlife sanctuary.

“Participating teams from diverse backgrounds, both local and international, will converge at Ol Pejeta for a weekend of spirited competition and camaraderie. Teams pay an entrance fee, with proceeds split equally between Ol Pejeta Conservancy and EACDT, supporting vital conservation and educational programs,” said Marnie Cattermole, Rhino Cup Manager.

While expressing his enthusiasm for the upcoming showdown, Ken Kimani, Chief Commercial Officer at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, said: "The Rhino Cup embodies the spirit of collaboration and dedication towards safeguarding wildlife and empowering communities. It is heartening to witness the global cricketing community coming together to support our conservation efforts."

Since its inception in 2015, the tournament has been a beacon of hope, raising over $100,000 (over Sh14 Million) to support conservation initiatives while witnessing the rhino population at Ol Pejeta grow by over 60 individuals to more than 200 in 2023.

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