Johannesburg, 06 September 2021: Nearly 60 000 South Africans from all corners of the country took to the streets and trails for the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge on Saturday, demonstrating how they #LiveLimitless despite the restrictions and limitations they faced.

Now in its second year, the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge brought family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and strangers together in a show of camaraderie. Photos and posts of participants flooded our social media timelines from locations across South Africa. From Lephalale to Kakamas, Postmasburg to Nottingham Road, Gqeberha to Fourways. Trending throughout the weekend, the hashtags #LiveLimitless and #SPARVirtualChallenge painted a vivid picture of South Africans’ zest for life. 

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge was launched in 2020 as a homage to South African women’s resilience and strength amidst the uncertainty and strife brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a virtual event, there were no geographic boundaries to the race, while participants could decide on their location, route, pace, and whether to do it alone or as a community. 

“Thank you to all 57 800 participants who entered in the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge on Saturday, 4 September! This was our second virtual challenge and first national one,” said Charleen Goschen, Marketing Director, SPAR South Rand. 
“The event was a huge success, and we could not have done it without you or our generous sponsors. “To everybody who tagged us on social media using the hashtags #LiveLimitless & #SPARvirtualchallenge, thank you. We loved seeing all your photos and videos. Not only did we want our participants to enjoy themselves, but know that if we set ourselves the goal to overcome our challenges, we can #LiveLimitless and make a difference while doing so!”

By entering this year’s SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge, participants were able to show their solidarity and make a tangible difference in the lives of young girls. There is a stigma and shame attached to their menstrual cycle for many young girls in South Africa. Due to the lack of access to simple hygiene products, they must make the difficult decision between embarrassment or education.

For every entry, a pack of sanitary pads will be donated to help keep a girl in school through the SPAR Petals Project. The Petals Projects advocates for a shame-free education for all young women. The entries for this year’s event, in addition to individual donations, will enable SPAR to donate 110 000 sanitary packets towards the Petals Project.

“We virtually walked together in support of keeping girls at school – even though their menstrual cycles – and by doing this, we play a small part in bringing them closer to a decent education, breaking the cycle of abuse and dependency,” said Goschen.  “We showed up for the extraordinary young women of South Africa and celebrated their dreams to #LiveLimitless.”

The entertainment was not limited to the road or the trails but continued in a virtual space where some of the country’s most loved celebrities kept us abreast of all the action around the country via a Live Facebook Stream. Among the presenters were famous radio DJs Robbie Kruse and Sarina Bosman, the much-loved Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, while Willem Botha and Lucille Slade provided live entertainment. 

The SPAR Women’s Challenge’s loyal brand ambassadors came out in numbers to join in the various activities around the event, join other participants or run the race at their own pace and time. The ambassadors rallied behind the event not only on the day but passionately advocated for women around the country to join the race for a good cause. They spread the word far and wide, whether in person or on their social media platforms. 

Proteas netball captain Bongi Msomi joined fellow SPAR ambassadors Renee Kalmer and Afrika-Bredenkamp along with 40 women from Hanna Charity to show their support on the day. 

The brand ambassadors that took part included Lucille Slade, Lindie Strydom, Charné Bosman, Ivan and Donnalee Botha, Hannah Grobler, Mimi Mahlasela and Warrior Ric. 

Popular Jacaranda FM presenter Martin Bester threw his weight behind the event where he was seen on the streets of Irene. Raising awareness of gender-based violence in South Africa, Leilani Kuter led a walk with the Yellow for Survivors at the Big Red Barn. 

The race spanned all nine of South Africa’s provinces, from small dorpies to large metropolitan areas. In Johannesburg, Quinne Brown and other celebrities walked with Special Olympics star Shirnel Swarts and her fellow athletes. Later on, Swarts demonstrated her skating abilities at the Grove Ice Rink, inspiring people around her to #LiveLimitless. 

Poppy Mlambo, previous SPAR Grand Prix winner, led a walk in Soweto while Insimbi Legacy Projects and Sekhwiditsane Primary School teamed up for an inspirational rural walk further north in Limpopo.

In Pretoria, The Workspace, XtraSpace and the SA Guide-Dogs Association joined in the fun with Groot FM walking in solidarity.

In the Mother City, Ivan and Donnalee completed the Virtual Challenge at the Rebound Fit studio while brand ambassador Jo Dee and the Heart Squad went for a run on the promenade at Sea Point. 

The Virtual Challenge also featured in Gqeberha where Madibaz netball star Jeanie Steyn and her Nelson Mandela University friends showed their support with a run around the city.

The picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands were among the popular destinations for the Virtual Challenge from Nottingham Road, the Nelson Mandela Capture site, to the Valley of the 1000 Hills. The race was equally popular on the KZN coast, whether sunset beach runs in Durban or on the road in Hillcrest. 

In Mpumalanga, the Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Programme and Mataffin Men’s Forum ran from Crossings SPAR in Mbombela. Other groups were seen running in on the plains of Kaapschehoop among the wild horses and along the escarpment at Blyde River Canyon.

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is proving to be a popular addition to the annual racing calendar. It is expected to grow and help communities to break down barriers and #LiveLimitless. 

Nearly 60 000 South Africans from all corners of the country took to the streets and trails for the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge on Saturday, demonstrating how they #LiveLimitless despite the restrictions and limitations they faced.

Now in its second year, the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge brought family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and strangers together in a show of camaraderie. Photos and posts of participants flooded our social media timelines from locations across South Africa. From Lephalale to Kakamas, Postmasburg to Nottingham Road, Gqeberha to Fourways. Trending throughout the weekend, the hashtags #LiveLimitless and #SPARVirtualChallenge painted a vivid picture of South Africans’ zest for life.

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge was launched in 2020 as a homage to South African women’s resilience and strength amidst the uncertainty and strife brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a virtual event, there were no geographic boundaries to the race, while participants could decide on their location, route, pace, and whether to do it alone or as a community.

“Thank you to all 57 800 participants who entered in the SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge on Saturday, 4 September! This was our second virtual challenge and first national one,” said Charleen Goschen, Marketing Director, SPAR South Rand.
“The event was a huge success, and we could not have done it without you or our generous sponsors. “To everybody who tagged us on social media using the hashtags #LiveLimitless & #SPARvirtualchallenge, thank you. We loved seeing all your photos and videos. Not only did we want our participants to enjoy themselves, but know that if we set ourselves the goal to overcome our challenges, we can #LiveLimitless and make a difference while doing so!”

By entering this year’s SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge, participants were able to show their solidarity and make a tangible difference in the lives of young girls. There is a stigma and shame attached to their menstrual cycle for many young girls in South Africa. Due to the lack of access to simple hygiene products, they must make the difficult decision between embarrassment or education.

For every entry, a pack of sanitary pads will be donated to help keep a girl in school through the SPAR Petals Project. The Petals Projects advocates for a shame-free education for all young women. The entries for this year’s event, in addition to individual donations, will enable SPAR to donate 110 000 sanitary packets towards the Petals Project.

“We virtually walked together in support of keeping girls at school – even though their menstrual cycles – and by doing this, we play a small part in bringing them closer to a decent education, breaking the cycle of abuse and dependency,” said Goschen. “We showed up for the extraordinary young women of South Africa and celebrated their dreams to #LiveLimitless.”

The entertainment was not limited to the road or the trails but continued in a virtual space where some of the country’s most loved celebrities kept us abreast of all the action around the country via a Live Facebook Stream. Among the presenters were famous radio DJs Robbie Kruse and Sarina Bosman, the much-loved Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, while Willem Botha and Lucille Slade provided live entertainment.

The SPAR Women’s Challenge’s loyal brand ambassadors came out in numbers to join in the various activities around the event, join other participants or run the race at their own pace and time. The ambassadors rallied behind the event not only on the day but passionately advocated for women around the country to join the race for a good cause. They spread the word far and wide, whether in person or on their social media platforms.

Proteas netball captain Bongi Msomi joined fellow SPAR ambassadors Renee Kalmer and Afrika-Bredenkamp along with 40 women from Hanna Charity to show their support on the day.

The brand ambassadors that took part included Lucille Slade, Lindie Strydom, Charné Bosman, Ivan and Donnalee Botha, Hannah Grobler, Mimi Mahlasela and Warrior Ric.

Popular Jacaranda FM presenter Martin Bester threw his weight behind the event where he was seen on the streets of Irene. Raising awareness of gender-based violence in South Africa, Leilani Kuter led a walk with the Yellow for Survivors at the Big Red Barn.

The race spanned all nine of South Africa’s provinces, from small dorpies to large metropolitan areas. In Johannesburg, Quinne Brown and other celebrities walked with Special Olympics star Shirnel Swarts and her fellow athletes. Later on, Swarts demonstrated her skating abilities at the Grove Ice Rink, inspiring people around her to #LiveLimitless.

Poppy Mlambo, previous SPAR Grand Prix winner, led a walk in Soweto while Insimbi Legacy Projects and Sekhwiditsane Primary School teamed up for an inspirational rural walk further north in Limpopo.

In Pretoria, The Workspace, XtraSpace and the SA Guide-Dogs Association joined in the fun with Groot FM walking in solidarity.

In the Mother City, Ivan and Donnalee completed the Virtual Challenge at the Rebound Fit studio while brand ambassador Jo Dee and the Heart Squad went for a run on the promenade at Sea Point.

The Virtual Challenge also featured in Gqeberha where Madibaz netball star Jeanie Steyn and her Nelson Mandela University friends showed their support with a run around the city.

The picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands were among the popular destinations for the Virtual Challenge from Nottingham Road, the Nelson Mandela Capture site, to the Valley of the 1000 Hills. The race was equally popular on the KZN coast, whether sunset beach runs in Durban or on the road in Hillcrest.

In Mpumalanga, the Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Programme and Mataffin Men’s Forum ran from Crossings SPAR in Mbombela. Other groups were seen running in on the plains of Kaapschehoop among the wild horses and along the escarpment at Blyde River Canyon.

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is proving to be a popular addition to the annual racing calendar. It is expected to grow and help communities to break down barriers and #LiveLimitless.