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Seasoned competitor wins the 35th edition of the Rhino Charge Challenge in Torosei, Kajiado

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 04:15 | By
Rhino charge
Graham Mckittrick of Team number 5 receiving the trophy after emerging the winner of the 35th Rhino Charge edition held in Torosei, Kajiado County where a total of Sh 325 million was raised. PHOTO/Bernard Gitau

Driver Graham McKittrick of Car No. 5 was on Sunday crowned the overall winner of this year’s edition of the Rhino Charge challenge held at Torosei in Kajiado County.

McKittrick, who is a regular competitor of the Rhino Charge challenge, covered a tough course under the super modified category of 27km to emerge victorious for the fifth time in the history of the Rhino Charge. Claiming the second and third positions were Bundu Fundi team (Car No.38) led by Sean Avery and Team Huzi (Car No. 33) led by Jeremy Holley respectively.

“Last year, we finished in third place, and I am happy that this year we have secured first place. This marks our fifth win overall since we began participating in the challenge as a family 35 years ago. Personally, I started participating in the challenge at the age of 15, and the journey has been incredible, raising funds to support our ecosystem and biodiversity. This event is very important to us, and we remain committed to participating and supporting this cause,” said Graham McKittrick.

The annual event which is aimed at raising funds to support the environmental conservation, has this year broken the record by raising a remarkable Sh 325.9 million, the highest in the history of the Rhino Charge. Longtime driver Adil Khawaja of Car No. 44 (AK44) emerged as the top fundraiser for the second year in a row, raising a historic Sh 175 million. Last year, Khawaja, was also the top fundraiser with Sh 60 million.

“My sincere thanks goes to all the sponsors and friends who came on board to support our team in raising this remarkable amount of Sh 175 million, which certainly was not an easy feat. We are pleased with the contributions and involvement in the cause of supporting environmental conservation. It is high time we started training our young people to get involved in this initiative so that they can carry it forward as we age. We need to establish mentorship programs that will empower them with knowledge about the importance of environmental conservation and ecosystems, and train them on how to effectively fundraise for this cause,” said Adil Khawaja.

This year’s Rhino Charge drew 54 entries with six new entries joining the challenge. The new entries included Pumba Patrol (Car No. 17), The Crusaders (Car No. 45), Geco Tribe Chargers (Car No. 46), Zambarau Heels on Wheels (Car No. 50), and two teams from the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK 58 and BATUK 59).

The Modified Class Category was claimed by Car No. 40 (Roving Rogues) entered by Peter Francombe whereas the unmodified category was claimed by Car No.9 (Gumtree 4 x 4) led by John Bowden who retained the title from last year. Gauntlet category was Frying Squad – Car No. 9 led by Ravi Patel. Tiger Line 1 category was taken by Car No. 22 (The Smiling Shenzis) led by Gray Cullen, with Car No. 48 (Team 48) emerging the winner of the Tiger Line 2 Category. Victor Ludom Award went to Adil Khawaja of Car No.44

“We appreciate the efforts of our sponsors and participants for making this year’s Rhino Charge a success. We are truly impressed by the substantial funds raised this year, totaling over Sh 325 million, the highest amount ever since we launched this event 35 years ago. One of our key objectives is to support the community, and this year, we are donating KES 10 million to the Torosei community program, including the construction of a secondary school in this area,” said Christian Lambrechts, Executive Director of Rhino Ark.

This year’s Rhino Charge Challenge received significant sponsorship from Safaricom PLC including network connectivity and Sh 15 million in cash through Car No. 44 (AK 44), led by Adil Khawaja. Over the years, Safaricom has contributed over Sh 250 million to support the Rhino Charge initiative, in line with the company’s sustainability programs.

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