Namibia comes to the rescue of Coronavirus-hit China and hosts #TheHeatIsOn challenge at Namib Desert

The  2020 celebrity challenge dubbed #TheHeatIsOn is taking place at Namibia's skeleton coast. (Tripsavvy)
  • Starting from Monday, the #TheHeatIsOn sports challenge will take place at the Namib Desert. 
  • A number of British celebrities like Rankie Bridge, Karim Zeroual, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Louise Minchin, Nick Grimshaw, Rob Rinder and Samantha Womack are taking part.
  • The challenge organised by Sport Relief raises funds to tackle issues such as mental health stigma, domestic abuse, homelessness and poverty, both in the United Kingdom and around the world.

For the next four days starting on Monday the world will converge at the world’s oldest desert for the 2020 celebrity challenge dubbed #TheHeatIsOn.

The challenge organised by the charity Sports Relief, which is part of Comic Relief is taking part at the Namib Desert. It was initially planned to be staged in Mongolia, with an expedition across a frozen lake but due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in China the organisers turned to coronavirus-free Namibia to host the popular biennial sport challenge.

“After closely monitoring travel advice, we have decided to relocate our international fundraising challenge, which starts this weekend," said Ruth Davison, the interim chief executive of Comic Relief, on the charity's website.

"We had previously been looking at a range of locations and challenges and we think that the Namib Desert expedition is a fitting alternative.”

Walvis Bay Urban constituency regional councillor Knowledge Ipinge welcomed the move by Comic Relief to have its celebrity challenge in Namibia.

“What the coronavirus has caused in the world is very sad," Ipinge said. "However, we also have our challenges in our country which we cannot turn a blind eye on. If we can host this challenge it is a sign that the world still has faith in our country.

The sports challenge is expected to boost Namibia’s image globally and position Walvis Bay as an events and filming Capital.

"The participating celebrities and filming of the challenge speaks directly to my vision of strategically positioning Walvis Bay as an events and filming Capital by focusing on new, existing and recurring production opportunities, including community-run events,” Ipinge added.

A number of British celebrities like Rankie Bridge, Karim Zeroual, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Louise Minchin, Nick Grimshaw, Rob Rinder and Samantha Womack will attempt a trek of some 150 kilometres in the Namib Desert on foot, bicycles and skis. Participants will set off from a starting point in the Kuiseb River, with a shipwreck on the Skeleton Coast as their final destination.

Sport Relief raises funds to tackle issues such as mental health stigma, domestic abuse, homelessness and poverty, both in the United Kingdom and around the world.

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