President Kenyatta hails positive impact of World Rally Championship
President Uhuru Kenyatta has praised the World Rally Championship (WRC), calling it a major motorsport event that has had a positive impact on the country’s economy.
President Kenyatta said that since its return last year, the international motorsport event has raised the profile of the country by attracting renowned motorsport giants.
The President spoke on Sunday afternoon when he awarded the winners of this year’s Safari Rally in Naivasha, County Nakuru.
“Thank you very much for your partnership and cooperation, and to the Kenyan people, you will see that this is an event that is in our blood. Let me also remind you that this is not just an event that is in our blood because of our history, but it is also an event that impacts us economically and positions us globally,” President Kenyatta said.
At the same time, the President appealed to Kenyans to continue supporting the event not only as a sporting activity but also as an economic one.
“An event like this isn’t just about the pilots and crews, it’s about everyone involved, from the busy hotels to the waiters serving them, from those managing the traffic to those watching, and those who sell various items.This is an event that brings money into the pockets of the wananchi.
“When we promote it, we are not only promoting the sport, we are also promoting our own economic well-being and that is how I would like Kenyans to see it. Don’t look at the event with a small lens, but rather see it in a bigger picture. Let’s see this as an event that will help us thrive,” the president said.
The Head of State thanked all the stakeholders who helped bring the WRC back to Kenya and congratulated the winners for showing true sportsmanship.
“We are here today to really celebrate the second year that we have welcomed the return of Safari Rally to the WRC circuit. We are here to say how happy and proud we are to be with all our partners and enthusiasts of racing around the world as we celebrate our pilots, as we celebrate their cruising around the world.
“Mine is to congratulate every entrant and as I said when we started the prize is not winning, the prize is how you win. I want to believe that all of our competitors for the Safari Rally of this year have shown us the need and great desire to compete vigorously, but to recognize competition is not enmity and that is why we are here. To celebrate not only the winners, but each participant, congratulations to each and every one of you. you,” he said.
The president, who is also the sponsor of the Safari Rally, thanked the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the World Rally Championship for working with the government to ensure the return and proper management of the event .
“I would like to express my gratitude to the FIA team and the World Rally Championship team for the way we have worked together. Bringing back the Safari Rally took a passionate collaboration and a willingness to partner to deal with the issues that led to the rally leaving Kenya in the first place. And I want to thank them for this partnership, we have come this far together and we are back together,” he said.
The President also congratulated Maxine Wahome, the only Kenyan woman to compete in this year’s Safari Rally for winning Category 3 of the 2022 World Rally Championship.
Others who spoke at the event, which was also attended by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, were Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage Amina Mohammed, Vice President of the International Sports Federation motoring Rodrigo Rocha and Kenya Motor Sports Federation President Phineas Kimathi. .
Earlier, at a scenic vantage point of the famous Hells Gate National Park in Naivasha, President and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, accompanied by senior government and rally officials, joined other rally enthusiasts to watch the drivers parade as they tackle one of the toughest but thrilling sections of the WRC Safari Rally.
This year’s WRC winners were Kalle Rovanpera followed by Elfyn Evans who took second while Takamoto Katsuta took third.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Presidency of the Republic of Kenya.
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