Date : 27 May 2021
- SPAR ANNOUNCE R1 MILLION INVITATIONAL SPAR GRAND PRIX SERIES
Johannesburg, South Africa: The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is back for 2021 and this year, the challenge is going limitless with entries open nationwide. Along with the virtual challenge, SPAR is also bringing back the prestigious SPAR Grand Prix series, giving some much-needed support to South Africa’s professional women runners.
Online entries are now open for the 2021 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. SPAR is inviting women across the country to join in on Saturday, 4th September 2021, anytime between 06h00 and 18h00 (subject to government lockdown regulations).
Participants can run, jog, or walk their own virtual challenge, at their own pace, anywhere in South Africa.
The 2021 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is set to be the ultimate antidote to Covid-19 fatigue and the lockdown blues that many South Africans are feeling. The 2021 challenge theme, #LiveLimitless calls on women to recognise how many obstacles they have overcome in spite of the restrictions and limitations that we have been faced with in the past year.
“Following the first ever SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge held in 2020, the challenge participants could never have anticipated that almost a year later, the nation would still be living with lockdown restrictions as the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic. #LiveLimitless recognises that we have done and coped with so much in the past year that we never thought we would be able to,” says Alison Zweers, SPAR Managing Director Western Cape and Namibia.
Every year thousands of women look forward to taking part in the SPAR Women’s Challenge races and their associated fun runs. Due to the lockdown imposed in 2020, SPAR changed the game by launching their first ever virtual challenge. “By hosting the second virtual challenge in 2021, we are once again giving women something to look forward to and we are really excited that no one will have to miss out this year. The fact that we have managed to find a way for our challenge community to keep coming together is really a testament to what #LiveLimitless is all about,” SPAR Group Marketing Executive, Mike Prentice enthuses.
Ensuring a limitless future for all, the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2021 event will benefit the SPAR Petal’s Project. Proceeds from this year’s entry fee will be used to help the Petals project donate packs of sanitary pads to underprivileged girls who often stay away from school when they are on their periods as they lack these basic necessities. SPAR Petals donations help keep these girls in school, giving them an equal chance to compete and lead a full life. Your contribution will help to remove the limitations that girls feel during menstruation and show them that there is no area in their life in which they cannot #LiveLimitless.
“This contribution would not be possible without the support of the women across South Africa who will be joining in or without the support of our sponsors. I would like to thank Asics, Garmin and Athletics South Africa for sticking with us and making this challenge possible,” Prentice acknowledges. “Our brand ambassadors, several of whom have been involved with our events for years, also play a huge part in making the virtual challenges a success and we are so excited about the group we have on board this year.”
This year’s challenge ambassador list includes familiar fan favourites and some new ambassadors who are eager to get SA excited about the challenge. Helping spread the #LiveLimitless message online will be; Bonang Gwampi, Siphokazi Menziwa, Nolo Skiti, Nomvuzo Zongo , Mimi Mahlasela, Leilani Kuter, Rene Kalmer, Bongi Msomi, Elana Afrika – Bredenkamp, Warrior Ric, Sarina Bosman, Charné Bosman, Willem Botha, Ouma Tema, Tauné Block, Lucille Slade, Dianne Broodryk, Sophia Matlou, Philicity Reeken, Martin Bester, Chantel Struwig, Donnalee Roberts, Ivan Botha, Lindie Strydom, Robbie Kruse, Zizipho Soldati, Kesa Molotsoane, Shirnell Swartz, Khutso Theledi, Izelle Hoffman, Jo-Dee Butler, Suga, Gino Fabbri, Yolanda Bukani, Jeanie Steyn, Faith Motau, Zinhle Twala and Precious Mthembu.
“We are looking forward to seeing everyone posting online on 4 September as they complete their routes,” says Zweers urging participants to enter and take some time for themselves and reflect on the tenacity we have all shown since the start of the pandemic. “Take this opportunity to #LiveLimitless, whatever that means to you, and do not be defined by the limitations you face. To #LiveLimitless is about answering the call to adventure, and instead of being defined by your limits, changing the narrative to be inspired by them.”
Entry to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is R60 and as part of the entry fee, every participant will receive a virtual race pack. The race pack includes an official virtual challenge t-shirt, access to the My Virtual Challenge digital magazine, a face buff and a medal.
This year there are even more ways to join in the fun online. Participants can visit the official race website, sparvirtualchallenge.co.za to generate their own race number and finish line certificate – perfect for pre and post-race selfies! Use #LiveLimitless and #SPARVirtualChallenge when posting to join the challenge community online!
For more information and to find out how to enter, visit www.sparvirtualchallenge.co.za. Entries are limited to 75 000 participants – enter now to avoid disappointment.
EVENT DIARY DETAILS:
Date: 4 September 2021
Time: 06h00 – 18h00 (subject to current lockdown restrictions)
Location: Virtual Event (participants can select own route and distance)
The SPAR Grand Prix Series Returns!
SPAR’s mission to breakdown limits does not end with the Virtual Challenge. South Africa’s top women athletes also have something to celebrate as the SPAR Grand Prix will be back this year. Covid-19 protocols mean that the SPAR Grand Prix will a, invitational only series. The SPAR Grand Prix will take place over six races in six cities with generous cash prize money. There will be a R100 000 combined prize money for each race. The ultimate winner of the SPAR Grand Prix will receive R185 000. Second place will receive R75 000 and the third-place runner will receive R45 000.
SPAR was approached by Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the Department of Sport and Recreation to assist roadrunners who have been unable to earn money due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions. After consultations with ASA and the government, it was decided to limit each race to 250 runners, with no spectators allowed. Entry is strictly by invitation, and the six races will be known as the SPAR Grand Prix 10km Invitational.
The races will be run over two 5km loops with girls and women in all categories from juniors to the over-70s. The first SPAR Invitational will be in Durban on June 27. That will be followed by the Tshwane race on August 7 and the Pietermaritzburg Invitational on August 22. The Cape Town Invitational takes place on September 4 and the Johannesburg race will be run on October 3. The final race will be in Gqeberha on October 9. The specific venues for the six host cities are still to be confirmed.