The 15th edition of IDPA’s Africa Championships is set to roll in Kenya on 2-5 September 2021. The National Gun Owners Association of Kenya (NGAO-K) chairperson Martin Chengo has exuded confidence in being able to host the event at the Kirigiti Shooting Range.
“This is the first time Africa champs is being held outside of South Africa. It’s taken a lot of lobbying to bring the event home after postponement from 2020 to 2021, because of Covid-19,” said Chengo.
NGAO-K has constructed an extra 11 bays to be able to accommodate the 14 stages as required by International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) to host the regional contest. An exercise that has been facilitated out of the members’ pockets he says.
The registration for participation in the IDPA – Africa Championships is still ongoing on www.practiscore.com.
“We are seeking more support from the Ministry of Sports and also tourism to perfect the range props and ensure that there is no range failure on the material day,” says Chengo.
Speaking to The Standard Sports from South Africa, The International Point of Contact (IPOC) Africa Dr Vivian Whatley who gave the country a clean bill of health to host the event said he is looking forward to a Kenyan IDPA experience.
“I enjoyed the Kenyan hospitality. I looked at the Kirigiti range and all the people involved including government officials, and made a decision that Kenya can host the IDPA Africa championship.”
“The layout was perfect, the safety of the range is of high standards. I lack the words to express the whole experience. From my point of view, it can only be a success,” said Dr Whatley.
Kenya has increased the number of certified Safety Officers (SOs) from 6 to 60, 34 Chief safety officers. All in preparation for the Championship.
Safety instructor Andreas Pfenninger of Switzerland says the safety of handling the guns for the international shooters when they come into the country is paramount.
The procedure is well documented in IDPA’s rule book and it is standard all over the world.
“I have never been to Kenya. I know some of the Kenyan shooters are very strong, but I look forward to giving them a hard time at the match,” said Pfenninger.
On his part, the event’s Match Director Sammy Onyango says they are ready to shoot like never before. “We are ready to move the wheels. With the country and God’s support, we will take the lead,” Onyango expressed confidence.
Besides reaching out to the National and county governments to come in and assist, the officials also appealed to the sponsors who have stood with them over time i.e Seagas Kenya, Pembe Flour Mills, Crown Paints, Skyward Express and others not to leave them at this time, saying they need them like yesterday.