ActionAid Kenya, Sarova Group of Hotels and Isiolo County Government Partner to Promote Sports Tourism
ActionAid Kenya and Sarova Hotels in partnership with the County Government of Isiolo, will host the ‘The Shaba Challenge’ on the 10th of August 2019 at the Shaba National Reserve in Isiolo, in support of communities at risk of the effects of the recurrent drought. The Shaba Challenge features epic obstacle courses within the scenic Shaba National Reserve landscape, and tens of team events specially curated, to make it the most engaging and fun team event ever yet.
The event seeks to raise funds in support of marginalized communities in the county. In recent past, Isiolo County has been heavily hit by the effects of recurrent drought, heightened by climate change, human-wildlife conflicts and other disasters, which have adversely affected the livelihoods of communities in the arid region.
Speaking at the event, H.E Dr. Mohammed Abdi Kuti, Governor of the County Government of Isiolo welcomed members of the public to Isiolo for ‘The Shaba Challenge’, expressing that the event will accord teams an opportunity to interact with the diverse culture existing in Isiolo, and enjoy an extraordinary outdoor experience, all while supporting responsible conservation and a worthy cause that will improve the lives of marginalized communities who continue to suffer the effects of recurrent drought caused by climate change. He also added that the event is a great opportunity for Kenyans to experience the beautiful national park that is home to the big five.
Action Aid Kenya’s Executive Director, Makena Mwobobia, stated that sustainable development in Kenya is possible when we tap into the power in people to come together, to participate in this event, not only to challenge their fitness levels and have fun, but also to stand in solidarity with the poor and marginalized communities, whose transition into sustainability has continued to be hampered by effects of climate change like recurrent drought.
Sarova Hotels Managing Director, Jimi Kariuki on his part highlighted that sports tourism has become very popular in the country, and the event will drive sports enthusiasts to Isiolo County, which is rich in culture, heritage and other unexplored tourism attractions that the hospitality industry is aggressively marketing in line with their diversification strategy.
The Shaba Challenge entails three obstacle courses suited for various groups of participants;
The Ndovu Course
Dubbed as the tough course, this is suitable for professional fitness enthusiasts. It will include mud and trail runs, adventure challenges and more competitive-timed obstacle course races. The obstacles include cargo net climbs, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of mud and water, crawling under barbed wire, and the natural Shaba terrain. The obstacles employed throughout the course will test endurance, strength, speed and dexterity.
The Simba Pride Course
Referred to as the teamwork course, the Simba pride is suitable for organizations interested in fostering trust and team spirit among their staff. It features a six-kilometer mud run out in the park through the tough Shaba terrain with epic obstacles such as tyre flips, cargo nets, balance beams, wall climbs and many more.
The Swara Family Course
This course is specially curated for friends and family teams, who want to spend time together, engaging in physically challenging activities out in the savannah. Speaking on behalf of the Fitness Professionals Association of Kenya, Mr. Philip Namasaka noted that this will be a trailblazer event, not just in the country but in East and Central Africa; that will bring together people with varied fitness levels to celebrate physical resilience, through the challenging activities, while contributing to the resilience of communities living in poverty and exclusion.