•The IPSC Ladies Shoot held at the Jockey Club Range was the first of its kind in Africa
•IPSC chair says there are plans for another competition of its kind before the year ends
•Approximately 42 ladies attended Sunday's event during which Irene Ndunda walked away with the top cash prize of Ksh 100,000
The future of shooting as a sport in Kenya is bright as more lady shooters embrace it, Memba Muriuki, International Pistol Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Kenya League chair says.
Muriuki said the number of female shooters has grown tremendously to the extent that Kenya is now rivalling South Africa as the hub of talented shooters in the continent.
"In the past, there were barely female shooters in such competitions; maybe around three. But you can see for yourself, the number has grown immensely to almost 50 ladies. Our long term plan is to promote shooting as a sport in the country because we believe there is so much talent. For the ladies, I believe we are now challenging South Africa in the continent," Muriuki said.
He was speaking on Sunday at the Jockey Club Range during the IPSC Ladies Shoot, which brought together close to 42 female shooters to compete for the top prize of Sh100,000.
Muriuki hailed the competition as the first of its kind in Africa and said plans are in the pipeline for another event before the year ends.
"It has been a great day; the level of competition is fantastic. This is a groundbreaking championship because it is the first lady's shoot in Africa. If we can get sponsors, we can organise another lady's competition in November or December. Putting up all these facilities costs money although shooting is not an expensive sport as such," he said.
During the event, Irene Ndunda emerged overall winner with 469 points ahead of Belinda Akoth (459 points) and Irene Wanjiku (446 points) in second and third respectively.
In the novices' category, Mary Mungai went home with the top gong whereas Peris Gichanga and Barbara Namumbiro finished second and third respectively.
Team Chalbi won the Rifle Category followed by National Police Service and Kenya Defence Forces in second and third.
Speaking at the same event, Major General Fatuma Ahmed, assistant chief of defence forces, urged participants to encourage more of their female peers to embrace the sport.
"I commend the dedicated lady shooters who have defied the odds to demonstrate exceptional performance today. I urge you to be role models and mentors to aspiring and upcoming lady shooters aiming to join the sport. I hope that a team will be in due course be constituted to represent the country in other shooting competitions worldwide," Fatuma, who was the chief guest, said.