The Isiolo County Government hosted the inaugural Shaba Challenge fun run on 10th August 2019 at the Shaba National Reserve. The event was hosted in partnership with ActionAid Kenya and Sarova Hotels.
The aim of the event is to raise funds to support of marginalised communities in the county. Isiolo County has been heavily been hit by the effects of recurrent drought heightened by climate change, human-wildlife conflicts and other disasters. These events have adversely affected the livelihoods of communities in the arid region.
The Shaba Challenge also seeks to promote sports tourism and fitness while supporting community development. It brought together various sports enthusiasts who participated in obstacle courses within the scenic Shaba National Reserve landscape. The Shaba Challenge further accorded attendees an opportunity to interact with the diverse culture existing in Isiolo and enjoy an extraordinary outdoor experience.
Attendees of the Shaba Challenge were provided accommodation at the amazing Sarova Shaba. Accommodation ranged from camping to chalets. Tickets for the event were Ksh. 5,000 for spectators and children and Ksh. 10,000 for adults.
Sarova Hotels Health Club Manager Richard Shisia highlighted that sports tourism is an emerging trend that has become quite popular in the country and the hospitality industry is aggressively marketing diversification with sports tourism as a key pillar to drive both local international guests to experience the unexplored tourism attractions in the country.
The Shaba Challenge have announced plans to make the event an annual one. The Shaba Challenge 2020 is scheduled for the 8th of August 2020.
The event featured a fun run and challenging obstacle courses within the Shaba National Reserve landscape. There were individual events and also team events. The obstacle courses included;
1. The Ndovu Course – The Tough Course
This course is suitable for professional fitness enthusiasts.
2. The Simba Pride Course -The Teamwork Course
This course is suitable for organisations who are interested in fostering trust and team spirit among their staff.
3. The Swara Family Course – The Fun Course
This course is suitable for friends and family teams who want to spend time together engaging in a physically challenging activities.