After receiving blessings from Defense Cabinet Secretary Amb. Dr. Monica Juma and the country at large, Kenya will for the first time host the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) Africa shooting championships in home ground.
The event organized by the National Gun Owners Association of Kenya (NGAO-K) kicks off on the 2nd – 5th September at the 14 bay Kirigiti shooting range, in Kiambu county.
In an exclusive interview with Standard Sport; the IDPA Africa 2021 match director Eng. Sammy Onyango said Kenya has what it takes to lift the trophies.
“The competition will be stiff, but we have a tradition of keeping things back home. We have trained hard and we believe that the trophies will remain in Kenya,” said Onyango.
Onyango hailed the support they are getting from the Firearms Licensing Board stating the issuance of permits for foreign shooters who are coming into the country as key among them.
He also called upon the government to step in and give sports shooters better prices in ammunition.
On his part, the 2021 IDPA African champs head of stats 21-year-old Mahir Omar said shooting comes with a lot of responsibility and encouraged more young people to join the sport.
“Kenya has prepared very well for the IDPA Africa championship. In milliseconds, we deal with a slight 0.01 seconds. We are confident of delivering good results.” Said Mahir.
About 200 sports shooters are expected to take part in the continental championship, whose curtain-raisers will be Safety Officers and Chief Safety Officers on the 1st September 2021.
Among those who will be representing Team Kenya are Masters’ Ashu Sennik, Ibrahim Ndung’u from Mombasa, Eric Wachira, Eric Ngumbi, Eng. Sammy Onyango, Mohammed Omar and East Africa’s pioneer Master Eng. Robert Nyamongo.
Internationally the big names expected to fly into the country for the championship include multiple IDPA Africa champion Master Ian Van der Bank, SSP Master John Whatley, CCP Master Andreas Pfenninger, SSP Expert Dr. Vivian Whatley, CO Expert Jamo Davis, REV. Sharpshooter Christelle Whatley, SSP Sharpshooter Keith Biermann, CO Sharpshooter Gerard Edo and CDP sharpshooter Boris Zelinsky among others.
Encouraging more participation in the sport, Onyango sought to demystify the notion that shooting sports is only for the rich.
“Shooting is a sport like any other, but it requires a certain level of discipline. The kind of tools we use are the kind used for defense purposes. That is why we always insist on safety,” said Onyango.