SPAR South Africa launches virtual road race for women

July 27, 2020 IN THE CATEGORY: Community, COVID-19, Health, Responsible retailing, Sport sponsorship

The SPAR Women’s Challenge series in South Africa has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, SPAR is set to organise a virtual edition of this iconic women’s road running race on 26 September. Women from the provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State, North West, and Northern Cape will be able to participate in this virtual challenge.

Women of all ages can run or walk any distance between 5 km and 10 km between 6 am and 6 pm, and post about their experiences on any platform, using the hashtags #BeSunshine or #SPARVirtualChallenge.

“2020 was meant to be a year of celebration, as we marked 30 years of our involvement in women’s road running,” said SPAR South Africa’s Marketing Executive Mike Prentice. “We know that thousands of women look forward to taking part in the SPAR Women’s Challenge races and their associated Fun Runs. We have decided to run a virtual challenge to give women something to look forward to and a motive to exercise.”

“We also want to try to set a Guinness world record for the biggest women’s virtual challenge. Our target is 30,000 entries. At the same time, we will also be giving hope and assisting survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) ”, Mike Prentice continued.

“GBV is a scourge in South African society and appears to have worsened during the national lockdown. We at SPAR want to do something to help the survivors, and all the money received from entry fees will be used to help victims of gender-based violence”, he noted.

Entry to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is R50, and for every entry, SPAR will donate a food parcel to a GBV survivor. Each entrant will also receive a limited-edition race t-shirt, a lightweight buff, and a race magazine.

There will be thirty ambassadors invited to promote the message and goodwill of the challenge. One of these is Rene Kalmer, who has been running in the SPAR Women’s Challenge 10 km races for more than half her life and is also the first to win three SPAR Grand Prix titles.

“The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge colour yellow is a symbol of happiness, optimism, and positivity. These have been dark days, and we all need a little sunshine. It is also time for the athletes to give back to SPAR, who have supported us for the past 30 years. My fellow athletes and I will give the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge our full support”, said Rene Kalmer.

Captain of the SPAR Proteas netball team, Bongi Msomi, is another ambassador. “I have taken part in SPAR Women’s Challenge series for the vibe and the party feeling, so I am excited to be an ambassador for the virtual challenge”, she said.

“Gender-based violence is a serious problem in South Africa, and it is time we send messages to everyone, not just men, that it is not acceptable.”

More information on the 2020 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge can be seen here

Source: SPAR South Africa

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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.