Camel derby set for next month

July 22, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI July 22 – Several community projects are set to benefit from this year’s edition of the International Camel Derby scheduled for August 1-3 in Mararal.

The derby which enters its 19th year, will take place at the Yare Camel Club and Camp.

Speaking to Capital Sport on Tuesday, organizing official Lisa Keya, said, “This event has become a means of supporting disadvantaged people from the area mainly through helping projects like SHERP (Samburu handicapped Education Rehabilitation Programme) Maria Mfariji, Bishop Philip Pero Girls Institute (for girls rescued form early forced marriages) and others.”

“Due to lack of sponsorship this year, we are asking for donations from well wishers to enable us to carry on with the event.” added Keya.

The Maralal International Camel Derby was first conceived in the year 1989 to provide a competitive sport different to the conventional ones and one that would benefit the interests of pastoralists in the arid areas of Northern Kenya as well as provide an alternative tourist attraction for the country.

The idea came from Yare Safaris Director, the late MICD (Maralal International Camel Derby) Chairman and founder Malcolm Gascoigne together with his late wife Susan based in Maralal and specializing in camel safaris.

The venue for the event naturally fell to Maralal in the center of administration for the arid areas and also reached by the many pastoralists who were to be targeted for the event. The first Derby was held in 1990. Since then it has been held almost very year.

The attraction for the cash prizes for the events has also been an incentive in making the event popular with both local and overseas visitors. Other added events, such as bike, fun games, and foot races have also increased the popularity and increased participation by a greater range of people.

Since 2004, this cooperation has been greatly strengthened through the formation of the MICD Organizing Committee. This has lead to the development of a strong vision for the future of the derby as a prima charity event that not only entertains, but also assists the community in many ways.


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