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WRC Safari Rally staff receive COVID-19 vaccination

UNIQUE SPORTS By Waweru Titus | April 10th 2021
The vaccination exercise at Kasarani Stadium on Friday (9/04/2021). [Photo: Safari Rally]

WRC Safari Rally staff have received the COVID-19 jab in compliance with health protocols in the build-up to June’s return of the Kenyan round to the World Rally Championship (WRC) series.

The Government commenced a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program for Kenyan athletes on Thursday.

Over 500 stakeholders of the WRC Safari Rally were vaccinated at the rally’s headquarters at the Kasarani Stadium on Friday.

The International Motorsport Federation (FIA) issued strict COVID-19 protocols which must be observed by all hosts of the WRC rounds and its affiliated members in their domestic competitions, with the WRC Safari Rally an integral part of FIA’s 2021 programme.

“No officials will be allowed to officiate in the Safari Rally without vaccination and all officials must have a negative results certificate as per the FIA’s Covid-19 protocols.

“We thank the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, under the leadership of Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Amina Mohamed, who has taken it personally to co-ordinate this exercise,” WRC Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi said.

Sports organizers around the world are requiring that delegations possess COVID-19 Vaccination Passports. [Photo: Safari Rally] 

Sports CS Ambassador Amina Mohamed pointed out on Thursday the importance of the vaccination exercise ahead of major sports events in and out of the country later in the year.

The country will host various international sports events such as the World Athletics Under-20 Championships, FIA/World Rally Championship (Safari Rally Kenya), the World Athletics Continental Tour and the Rugby Barthez Cup among others.

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“Increasingly sports organizers around the world are requiring that delegations possess COVID-19 Vaccination Passports over and above a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate.

“This exercise will guarantee that our athletes continue to represent the country in these crucial events, continuing with the Kenyan tradition of international sports dominance.

“I assure the country that this exercise will cover every sportsperson and support personnel wherever they may be,” CS Mohamed said.

Over 500 stakeholders of the WRC Safari Rally have been vaccinated. [Photo: Safari Rally]

Acclaimed as the world’s toughest rally before it was stripped of its WRC status in 2002, the Safari Rally promises to be an intriguing event on its return to African soil on July 24-27 if the challenging sections are anything to go by.

The rally will be staged in jaw-dropping scenic floor of the Rift Valley through sections that include Elementeita, Sleeping Warrior, Loldia, Malewa and Kedong Ranch among others after the ceremonial start at the iconic KICC.

Kedong ranch, located on the foothills of Mt. Longonot, and the shores of Lake Naivasha, will feature 21 designated media filming points.

The Malewa Bay and Hells Gate power stage section, in particular, is sure to provide car manufacturers Hyundai, Ford, Toyota among others with some food for thought far from the European circuits.

The Service Park measuring 220m by 90m in Naivasha’s Kenya Wildlife Service Training will be the nerve centre of the event.

It will be the day of reckoning for Kenya’s top drivers Baldev Chager, Onkar Rai and Tejvir Rai among others when they finally come face-to-face with speed monsters such as Ott Tanak of Estonia, Sebastien Ogier of France Thierry Neuville (Belgium), Dani Sordo (Spain), Craig Green (Ireland), Elfyn Evans (Wales) and rising star Kalle Rovanpera of Finland.

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