The SPAR Women’s Challenge 2023 ushers in the first year since 2019 that we are live! Thousands of women, and men (like WarriorRic) who support women empowerment, are back on the roads together with like-hearted warriors on a mission to build and support community. Through entries, donations and SPAR goodwill, End GBV initiatives, Autism, and girl child empowerment, SPAR helps bolster new life in South Africa during difficult times.
We kicked off at Greenpoint Stadium on a wet and cold Cape Town morning at the end of April. However, that did not stop over 11,000 participants to show up- and that out of a sold out 15,000! The vibe was fire, and runners, walkers, spectators and our End GBV Motivation Water Station warmed up our 10 and 5km brave participants in order to help them to finish. At the race village, the participants were entertained while they waited with bated breath to see who stood a chance to go into the draw for the Proton Car taking place at the final SPAR Women’s Challenge Race on the 1st of October in Johannesburg.
They call Gqeberha the friendly city. And it did not disappoint! Like Cape Town, thousands of participants showed up in person at the end of May, and with smiles as wide as the boardwalk near the Summerstrand Life Saving Club near where SPAR showcased a beautiful LED gantry that was lit up like a Christmas tree the night before the race with SPAR Women’s Challenge branding. The following day, the gantry became the bigger-than-life screen for runners and walkers filmed live as they crossed the finished line! Nice touch Gqeberha.
Although the Tshwane race is not till the 5th of August, historically it is the biggest race in the series, and thereby becomes the showcase for the SPAR Women’s Challenge season. The media launch was held at the eclectic outdoor venue, Moonshot Cafe near Menlyn Main. Artist, Hope Mbhele, with her radiant smile and electric energy, was the MC for the evening. Loads of celebrities from radio, television, fashion and film made the occasion lit! Gerda van Schalwyk joined WarriorRic on the red carpet to welcome celebrity guests, the media, ASA and, of course, our elite runners!
What a vibe!! Back in KZN for the SPAR Women’s Challenge, the weather, the race and the people didn’t disappoint! From beginning to end, the runners, walkers, spectators, vendors and sponsors all made the event lively and fun. WarriorRic contributed first by co-anchoring with Cuan Walker during the livestream broadcast on social media that allowed viewers to experience the elite running scene as well as the weekend warriors enjoying both distances of 5 and 10km around Moses Mabida stadium.
After jumping out of the livestream commentating chair, WarriorRic sped off to greet the women and supportive men on the 5km route for hi-fives and interviews for SuperSport TV with lots of fanfare! Finally, on the main stage of the SPAR Women’s Challenge Durban race village, he celebrated the lucky draw winners by announcing their amazing prizes from SPAR and other sponsors before delivering a brief message of gratitude to SPAR and the participants of the race for supporting the End GBV campaign along with LifeLine, TruLife and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who joined him on stage.
Finally, WarriorRic had the privilege to introduce a stalwart of the Pinetown community, Thora Mansfield, who has worked tirelessly with her NGO / NPO, Open Door Crisis Care Centre, since 1997. An organisation that empowers, not just women, but humanity to fight against GBV, Human Trafficking and Poverty. Thora, representing Open Door, received a cheque of R100,000 handed over to her by Marketing Executive of SPAR KZN, Menelisi Lethuli.
If you haven’t already, sign up today for the race taking place on the 5th of August at SuperSport Park. It’s all for #4smiles.
Check the SPAR Women’s Challenge listing for the race in your area with the date and location:
Mbombela: 15 July – Mbombela Stadium
Tshwane: 5 Aug – SuperSport Park
Johannesburg: 1 Oct – Marks Park