30,000 women participate in SPAR South Africa’s virtual road race

October 6, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Community, Sport sponsorship

Following the cancellation of the annual SPAR Women’s Challenge series due to COVID-19, SPAR South Africa on 26 September organised a virtual edition of this iconic women’s road running race. A total of 30,000 women participated in the event, which was sold out in July. As it was a virtual event, there were no geographical boundaries to the race. Women across the globe could choose their own route and distance to walk or run.

Social media posts of women and their families in official event t-shirts and bright yellow face masks dominated SPAR South Africa’s social media platforms during the last weekend of September, as 30,000 women shared their SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge experience online. The hashtags #BeSunshine and #SPARVirtualChallenge trended throughout the weekend.

In August, SPAR South Africa pledged to use its vast media reach to help end gender-based violence (GBV). As part of this initiative, the entry fee proceeds of the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge were donated to organisations providing support to victims of GBV.

“Thank you to all 30,000 racers of the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Our first-ever virtual challenge was a huge success. We will be able to send 30,000 food parcels to the survivors of gender-based violence and their families. SPAR is proud to have created a platform that gave us all an opportunity to show up for the extraordinary women of South Africa and celebrate their relentless sunshine”, said Jerome Jacobs, Divisional Marketing Director, SPAR South Rand.

A live broadcast from a studio in Johannesburg, hosted by Virtual Challenge Ambassadors Warrior Ric, Lucille Slade and Tuané Block, tied the event together in a social media livestream, crossing live to their fellow Ambassadors in various locations across Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo. The livestream allowed everyone taking part to see what fellow participants were doing in their regions.

“To our phenomenal Brand Ambassadors and to everybody who took part and tagged us on social media using the hashtag #BeSunshine, thank you. Not only did we want our participants to enjoy themselves, but we also wanted to send out a very important message; gender-based violence in South Africa needs to end, and we can achieve this when we all stand together,” commented Charlene Goschen, Divisional Marketing Director, SPAR North Rand.

The Virtual Challenge and the lead up to the event itself were supported by a group of deeply committed brand ambassadors who helped spread the word, to promote the cause behind the event and also took part on the day. These individuals tirelessly dedicated their time, effort, and influence to making the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge a success.

“It is astounding year after year to see how these amazing individuals join SPAR to use their reach and influence for good – and to see how the people of South Africa are always there to support our causes,” said Sean Komlosy, Divisional Marketing Director, SPAR Lowveld.

“Although we could not host our usual SPAR races this year, the excitement and meaning behind them were not cancelled in the end, and we are proud of what we achieved together on 26th September!”

Source: SPAR South Africa 

Read more about SPAR in South Africa

About SPAR South Africa

SPAR South Africa was established in 1963 and operates four retail formats: SPAR, SPAR Express (operated in conjunction with Shell as a petrol forecourt store), KWIKSPAR (which focuses on convenience in city centres and high footfall locations) and SUPERSPAR (similar to EUROSPAR in offer).

South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to join the SPAR organisation. The SPAR Group Ltd South Africa grants sub-licences to independent retailers to operate stores under one of the four formats, with almost all of the current store portfolio being independently owned.