Voice of Sport

Off-road 4×4 Challenge is back this Sunday at Athi, Machakos

It’s a charity annually held in Athi River to raise money for the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust


UNDER new management and organisers, The Athi River 4×4 Challenge motoring event is on Sunday, March 30 in Machakos County.

An extreme event for four-wheel off-roaders, it’s a charity annually held in Athi River to raise money for the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust.

Now in its third year the challenge is an a test of courage and determination, featuring rocky mountains, deep mud pits, tangling tyres, water slides and many more hurdles. Depending on car and driver’s experience, there are two categories of entry — expert and intermediate plus trail bikes.

It is an excellent training ground and forerunner of the much older and more famous “Rhino Charge”. This one takes place in about 12 weeks’ time – Sunday, June 1 — and competitors are deep in preparation.

Charitable Trust

The event is organised to raise funds for the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust. Competitors are required to raise the minimum sponsorship set by the organising committee. Most however raise considerably more – the record to date being Sh11, 509,015 in 2011 from Car No.5 led by Alan McKittrick. Long-time supporters such as Sarah and (the late) Mike Higgins have raised a total of Sh39, 604,399 over the last 20 years.

If experience is the key quality for a “Rhino Charge” team, then the team that operates Car no. 45 surely has it in spades.

Made up largely of an eclectic group of old age pensioners ably commanded by driver/captain Phil Tilley, Team Loosey’s combined aggregate age of 300+ years surely tops most, if not all, other Rhino Charge teams.

No comedy

Watching these old boys jumping around in the bush is no comedy show. These old goats have it all – sex appeal and rippling muscles to boot!

And what a car! ‘Loosey’ is a defiantly unreconstructed 1974 model Range Rover cobbled together from bits that have been lying around in Phil Tilley’s famous junkyard. Her lines are classic…she is poetry in motion!