Share this article

Johannesburg, South Africa: SPAR is aiming to put some sunshine back in your life during these challenging times with the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge and two star netball players, SPAR Proteas Captain Bongi Msomi and Lentsa Motau of the Mpumalanga Sunbirds have been named Ambassadors of the Challenge.

2020 has been a strange year, as the world struggles to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In South Africa, large gatherings have been banned until further notice, resulting in the cancellation of the six city SPAR Women’s Challenge series that make up the SPAR Women’s Grand Prix.

However, despite the cancellation of the ever so popular series, on September 26, women who would normally be taking part in the SPAR Challenges are asked to #BeSunshine by taking part in a SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Supported by the SPAR Inland region, women from Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, North West and Northern Cape will be able to enter South Africa’s most beautiful SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge with limited entries available for interested women in Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal.

Women of all ages can run or walk any distance between 5km and 10km between six in the morning and six in the evening, and then 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 Group 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 each year, and so we have decided to run a virtual challenge to give women something to look forward to and a motive to exercise,” said Prentice.

“We also want to try to set a Guinness world record for the biggest women’s virtual challenge. Our target is 30 000 entries.

“We will also be giving hope and assisting survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) at the same time. 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 them,” he said.

Captain of the SPAR Proteas netball team, Bongi Msomi, has been named as an ambassador of the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge.

“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.

“GBV is a serious problem in South Africa and it is time we send messages to everyone, not just men, that it is not acceptable. I am happy to help survivors of GBV.”

Msomi said the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge would send a positive message at a time when people needed some sunshine in their lives.

Mpumalanga Sunbirds netball star Lentsa Motau applauded SPAR in their strong stance against gender-based violence. “I’m so happy to see SPAR turn a spotlight on the scourge of GBV in this country and use their platform to support women.”

Entry to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is R50, and for every entry, SPAR will donate a food parcel to a GBV survivor. Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels will coordinate the distribution of the food parcels. Each entrant will also receive a limited addition race t-shirt, a lightweight buff and a race magazine.

On how to enter and obtain more information on the 2020 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge go to:

SPAR have announced that they will be adding some “sunshine” to a challenging 2020. The 2020 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge has been announced to take place in Mpumalanga in September. Pictured from left: South African Netball Captain, Bongi Msomi and Lentsa Motau of the Mpumalanga Sunbirds.

South Africa’s Most Beautiful Virtual Challenge, The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge will take place in Mpumalanga in September. Pictured in the back row from left to right are: Kesa Molotsane, 2017 SPAR Grand Prix winner, Lentsa Motau of the Mpumalanga Sunbirds, Sean Komlosy, SPAR Lowveld Marketing Director and Rene Kalmer, Olympian athlete and multiple SPAR Grand Prix winner. In the front row are from left: Bongi Msomi, South African Netball Captain and Nikki Laubscher, SPAR Lowveld Sponsorship Manager.

Photos: Reg Caldecott