Johannesburg, 24 May 2022: Touched by a plea for help on Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels, SPAR Virtual Women’s Challenge has come to the aid a household headed by a 15-year-old schoolgirl. 

Amy* has stepped in as main provider to her younger sister (12), 10-year-old brother and 22-year-old mentally disabled sister while their mother receives treatment in hospital for stage-4 cancer. In addition to keep up her own grades, Amy looks after the needs of her siblings, from helping with homework to cooking and cleaning. She also works over weekends to earn an income to help pay for rent, electricity and make ends meet. 

Enamoured by Amy’s inspirational story of resilience in the face of adversity, SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge has pledged its support for the child-headed household. To lighten Amy and her siblings’ burden, SPAR will assist the family with a monthly grocery voucher of R3 000 until the end of the year (May to December), which amounts to a R25 000 donation.

Amy’s triumph over her circumstances speaks to the theme of this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge captured through the hashtag, #IRise. The 2022 edition of the race is a tribute to the countless women and girls that sacrifice the self in service of others and rise above their daily challenges. 

“Making a difference in the lives of the communities we serve has long been an integral part of SPAR’s fabric. We are embedded in our communities and are deeply touched by their stories of resilience,” said Retha Ingenbleek, Race Organiser and Sponsorship Controller, SPAR North Rand. “Although the plight of Amy and her siblings is not an isolated case, we hope that our contribution will provide some relief and hope to a family in need.” 

The family has been given extra support courtesy of the Good Morning Angels Fund NPC, which will cover their rent for the next seven months (R35 000) and R2 000 a month until the end of the year for electricity (R14 000).

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge’s pledge of support to Amy and her siblings is part of the annual event’s broader goal of improving the lives of our fellow humans. Each year the Virtual Challenge adopts a charitable cause that addresses a wider societal issue. 

For every entry in this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge, a pack of sanitary pads will be donated to help keep a girl in school through the SPAR Petals Project. The Project advocates for a shame-free education for all young women, and through their contributions, participants will help these girls rise above their challenges.  

Entry to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is R120, and as part of the entry fee, every participant will receive a virtual challenge pack. The 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, to generate their race number and finish line certificate – perfect for pre and post-race selfies! Use #IRise and #SPARVirtualChallenge when posting to join the challenge community online! 

For more information and to find out how to enter, visit Entries are limited to 60 000 participants – enter now to avoid disappointment.  

* Name has been changed to protect her identity


The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge and Theme:  

Difficulty calls us to rise, and in that rising, we learn what we are capable of. The theme the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2022 is built on the concept of rising despite difficulty, like a phoenix from the ashes, which the Virtual Challenge  itself has done amidst a global pandemic. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity, and there is a plethora of opportunity for creativity amidst the current challenges that we face. 

This year we anticipate rising again as the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2022, in celebration of a South African stalwart, accompanied by a powerful digital strategy and virtual challenge, to become the most inclusive challenge South Africa has seen. 

Over the years, the challenge has brought women from all walks of life together, to make a difference in our communities and once again, this year will be no different, as we rise to the challenge as a nation, leaving no woman (or man) behind. While the challenge is still fully focused on women, we encourage women to bring their families, friends and animals, and welcome everyone, irrespective of gender, for this inclusive challenge. 


3 September 2022 

6AM to 6PM (subject to lockdown restrictions)  

Virtual Event (participants can select own route and distance)