My Virtual Challenge 2022

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Message from SPAR Message from the Organisers Ladies Living Limitless in 2021 Virtual Challenge Info Virtual Challenge FAQs

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Rising Petals Map Your Route for Challenge Day Rising with Vision with Louzanne Coetzee Power to Rise with our Ambassadors

MY PACE 36 40

The Power of Recovery Challenge Day Must Haves


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A Cut Above The Rise of Farm-to-Table The Rise of Online Fashion What is Plogging? 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



Message from SPAR


StrongER together I

n 1996 former president Nelson Mandela stated that “as long as women are bound by poverty and as long as women are looked down upon, human rights will lack substance”. At SPAR we firmly believe that women are an integral part of our communities, the broader society and the national economies therefore the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is helping women rise by tackling crucial issues like period poverty and gender-based violence. It is estimated that 30% of South African girls do not go to school while on their period because sanitary products are inaccessible or not affordable due to the disadvantaged and rural areas they live in. The South African government refers to this as period poverty and it remains a prevalent issue. With a limited education these girls are deprived of equal opportunities and there is less of a chance that they are able to lift themselves, and their communities, out of poverty. SPAR believes that every girl has a right to an education which provides them with the opportunity to escape poverty and become a member of the workforce, and because periods do not stop for pandemics, the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge has continued with the SPAR Petals project. In partnership with various other charities across the country, we continue to donate packs of sanitary pads to help keep girls in school. Your entry fee will go towards the SPAR Petals project and help these young girls rise up and face their adversities with confidence and pride. #IRise... Together with period poverty, the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge would like to highlight another profound and widespread problem facing South Africa, and that is gender-based violence. True to our SPAR values which are family, entrepreneurship and passion, we condemn violence against any person based on their gender, and SPAR is actively working to end gender-based violence. SPAR has partnered with organisations to ensure that both victims and perpetrators have recourse to assist them. SPAR aims to restore dignity to all those who have been affected by genderbased violence. We encourage people to “speak up and speak out” against GBV – if you are personally affected do not accept blame and hide what has happened to you, or if you know someone else who is being affected by this, speak up and offer them your support. #IRise. Above Adversities!

Charlene Subbarayan

Group Sponsorship & Events Manager 2


To any person reading this who has been impacted by GBV and would like to take steps to protect yourself, what can you do? If you are near a government hospital which has a Thuthuzela Care Centre (TCC) you can schedule a visit at any of these centres. These care centres are staffed by people who will assist with taking statements and evidence, providing medical care and support, and assisting with getting your case to court – if that is what you want to do. The objectives of the TCCs are to provide immediate and ongoing support to GBV victims, as well as increasing the conviction rate against perpetrators, so people start to realise that there are consequences for such horrendous acts against humanity. Alternatively, SPAR has partnered with LifeLine, who has a 24/7 call centre which deals specifically with gender-based violence in all its aspects. You can call or WhatsApp this toll-free number (0800 150 150) any time to receive assistance. SPAR’s website also provides resources which may help you to deal with GBV – visit us at There are also plenty of local or regional centres that people can approach, many of which are supported by the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge #IRise. #GBVmustEND.





Message from the Organisers

Rising to the Challenge The organisers of this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge have once again come together to rise to the challenge of putting together another spectacular event to support the girls and women of South Africa. Here are their thoughts on what it means to rise above the issues facing women and girls today. #IRise.

Charlene Subbarayan

Retha Ingenbleek

Lately the world seems to be moving from one crisis to another. We have experienced a global pandemic, economic crises, natural disasters, and political and social turmoil, not to mention the personal traumas and loss of loved ones. For many women, including myself, the struggle is very real and yet we still show up. Every day without fail, we rise to face another day. #IRise.. Why? Because as women we believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed. The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge aims to bring women from all walks of life together and to show South Africa that women can Rise Up against all these adversities, and nothing can hold us down. All you need to do is participate in the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Never forget this, you are strong, you are fearless, you are beautiful. #IRise.

There comes a time in your life when you need to realise that you are the one that you have been waiting for and that taking personal responsibility for your life is the only thing that will allow you to rise. Life is tough and your focus is the one thing that will determine how high you will be able to rise. Reset your focus, find the good in everything and remember we rise by lifting others!

Group Sponsorship & Events Manager



Sponsorship & Events Controller – SPAR North Rand

Sophia Matlou

Sponsorship Assistant – SPAR North Rand #IRise. above emotional and physical abuse when I knew when to walk away. Above financial instability and the loss of everything I had, #IRise.. Above unstable health and the rocky journey of life #IRise. again, above loss of family and friends due to the pandemic, oh yes, #IRise..

Bella Mogane

Sponsorship Controller – SPAR Lowveld #IRise. requires a person to know their self-worth and what they are capable of achieving, being able to be hopeful and determined to rise above all your challenges and limitations. #IRise. means to inspire others to do and be more, giving them the opportunity to reflect and be great in their own space. #IRise. is believing in yourself again and creating your own opportunities.

Elsabé van Zyl - Félix

Advertising, Sponsorship and Events Manager – SPAR Western Cape & Namibia Celebrating self-love and self-acceptance as a women is a powerful tool, I praise the strength of all women who have had to climb their own mountain and came down as warriors! Women are resilient and confidently manage a portfolio of many titles, such as moms, daughters, sisters, caregivers, employees, bosses, workers and single parents. #IRise. is the daily mantra of women across the world and whenever we stumble or fall, we RISE, always RISING! Through self-esteem and confidence, nothing gets a woman down!


Laura Dorothy

Event & Sponsorship Controller – SPAR Eastern Cape

Claire Hogg Cornel Steyn

Sponsorship Controller – SPAR South Rand “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise so I am changing myself.” - Rumi The past few years I have been focused on trying to change the world, feeling defeated after every failed attempt. But recently I have realised that I need to change myself first. Through changing, adapting and evolving I will be able to make the difference that I would like to see in South Africa and the rest of the world. We are living in extraordinary times and need to rise above the negativity, to live our true purpose. #IRise.

Marlene Gunter

Sponsorships Controller – SPAR South Rand Women were created to rise with a spirit of strength and resilience. Throughout history it has been the women who have stood against all odds and today this can be seen in the women rising from the ashes of the pandemic. Women have stood in the gap as teachers and mothers and caregivers and breadwinners – they have RISEN! And we salute and honour you as you continue to rise above whatever challenges you face. #IRise.

Sponsorships Controller – SPAR KwaZulu-Natal In order to rise you, more often than not, have to fall but there is a wonderful quote by Wendell Berry that says, “When I fall, let me fall without regret like a leaf. When I rise, let me rise joyful like a bird”. When we have our inevitable “life falls”, we should all strive to remember to use the time spent on our knees in reflection while we catch our breath and heal. By doing this, when we are ready to stand tall again, it is without regret and we enable ourselves to rise joyful in the knowledge that we are stronger and wiser.

Nozipho Mkhize

Advertising and Sponsorship Manager – SPAR KwaZulu Natal As women we do it all and we work hard for our families. Let us be each other’s inspiration. Rise to the occasion, walk in your purpose. Show us what grace, strength, resilience and courage look like. Your whole world may seem to be tumbling down and you feel like you can’t get your feet on solid ground, but like a seed planted, we grow and embrace each stage. We find ourselves and fight for our own place in society. Self-care is the best thing you can give to yourself. Make sure your cup is full. Step up, rise and be the kind of woman you want to be. Rise beyond your circumstances because you can!

#IRise.… Keep shining your light you are strength! The road to gender equality and the end of gender-based violence remains a long and ever shifting one, particularly when it comes to race, class, sexuality and physical abuse. Let us all continue to shine our light, spread our kindness and stand together in strength and unity as we continue to fight this inconceivable scourge against our people and against our children. You do not have to put up with it – there is a better life for you out there!

Alan Stapleton

Sponsorships and Events Manager – SPAR Eastern Cape For centuries, the echoes of the mantra, “I Rise” have been verbalised, and through poems like Maya Angelou’s, Still I Rise, have become a movement that has seen women rise above their circumstances and fight toe-to-toe for their empowerment. More recently, singers like Callum Scott, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Andra Day and Lira have joined the anthem call for women to “Rise” From us in the Eastern Cape, comes a call, no matter our circumstances post-COVID, let us all Rise, beautifully, individually and together in the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge to celebrate the power, the beauty and the courage of women. We are not just survivors. We do not just dream, dreams. We are Women. We Rise. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE




Living Limitless in 2021




Our #Live Limitless ladies went all out for last year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Here is a flashback to some of the spectacular moments of 2021 that were captured throughout our beautiful country as our limitless ladies embraced the Virtual Challenge for the second year. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



Thank you to the wonderful ladies who planned their routes and loyally supported us so that we could reach out to hundreds of girls and offer them hope. Let us rise together to even greater heights in 2022 as we step out of our doors and into our neighbourhoods!







HOW IT What is a virtual challenge?

A virtual challenge is a fitness goal that tasks you to run, jog or walk your own race, at your own pace. Anyone of any ability can participate and it can be completed at any location.




06h00 to 18h00

Enter online at

2022 Theme The last two years have provided many challenges and obstacles, and we have had to adjust and adapt. Many have been left depleted - financially, emotionally and psychologically. Last year the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge encouraged you to push past your boundaries and live beyond the limits you set for yourself and others impose on you. This year we are challenging you to rise, like a phoenix from the ashes, reborn, reenergised, refreshed and refilled. Rise above the challenges, struggles and obstacles that block your path, find your wings and fly. #IRise.

Create your own Virtual Challenge number 1. 2. 3. 4.


Visit Download the challenge number PDF. Insert your own challenge number or just your name. Pin to your t-shirt when you do your virtual challenge.


Generate your Certificate Good news! This year you will once again be able to generate a certificate to show that you have participated in the 2022 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Visit for more information.

PUBLISHER Free Radical Media


MANAGING EDITOR Kim Smit DESIGN & LAYOUT Aneska Meintjes +27 82 851 1441

Calling all athletes Special Olympics Ambassador Christinah Moloka Christinah Moloka is a young achiever born in Gauteng. She has been involved with Special Olympics South Africa since 2016, when she was enrolled at Tshegofatsong Special School. While at the school she took part in athletics, netball, basketball and table tennis, because of the benefits to her for building strength, speed and agility. Her family is her greatest support as they always remind her that she should continue to hold her head up high and never let all the negative talk around her define her existence or her capabilities. She is proud of all the medals she accumulated at the Gauteng School Sports Awards for her great performances in sports. Christinah recently completed her schooling at Tshegofatsong Special School and was one of the fortunate athletes to be selected for an employment programme that the school runs with McDonalds. She was exceptionally happy when she was chosen to be a part of the group for the employment programme as this has enabled her to help her foster family with expenses at home.

IMAGES ©, 123RF, Official SPAR Photographer: Reg Caldecott AMBASSADOR PHOTO SHOOT: Styling: Follicle On the Move Makeup: Follicle On the Move Photography: Willem Botha

Follow us on INSTAGRAM @SPARVirtualChallenge

Remember to share your virtual challenge experience by posting on social media and using the official hashtags!

Christinah has risen above her challenges, insecurities and fears, and we are proud to partner with her as the Special Olympics’ ambassador for this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. She is calling all athletes and ladies to join her on 3 September 2022 and rise to the challenge!

ADVERTISING SALES CONTRIBUTORS Retha Ingenbleek, Marlene Gunter, Sophia Matlou, Cornel Steyn, Bella Mogane, Claire Hogg, Charlene Subbarayan, Elsabe van Zyl, Alan Stapleton, Nozipho Mkhize, Laura Dorothy, Warrior Ric, Kesa Molotsane, Garmin, Kim Smit, Mike Prentice, Jane Bramley, Special Olympics South Africa, Yolanda Bukani, Anruné Weyers, Michelle Gildenhuys Adams, Irvette van Zyl, Glenrose Xaba, Ouma Tema, Zinhle Ndawonde, Lisa Bobbert McIlroy, Rene Kalmer, Gilda Mavromatis, Helen Nicholson, Anne Taylor My Virtual Challenge Magazine is published annually by Free Radical Media. My Virtual Challenge is subject to copyright in its entirety. The contents may not be reproduced in any form, either in whole or in part, without the written consent of the publisher. Unless specified, all rights are reserved in material accepted for publication. All letters and other unsolicited submissions (manuscripts, art, photographs and other materials) will be considered for publication unless clearly labeled ’not for publication’. All letters may be subject to editing. My Virtual Challenge is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. Free Radical Media reserves the right to reject any advertising at our discretion without explanation. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Free Radical Media, SPAR or their clients. Information has been included in good faith by the publisher and is believed to be correct at the time of going to print. No responsibility can be accepted for errors and omissions. No material (articles or photographs) in this publication may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without specific written permission from Free Medical Media. No liability is accepted by Free Radical Media, the publisher, SPAR nor the authors for any information contained herein. Neither My Virtual Challenge magazine, SPAR nor its publisher is responsible for damage or harm, of whatever description, resulting from persons undertaking any activity or health advice featured in My Virtual Challenge magazine.

What is in my Virtual Challenge pack?

Submissions of articles and photographs for publication are welcomed, but the publisher, while exercising all reasonable care, cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage.



My Virtual Challenge magazine

face buff Is the proud publisher of this publication


to ship Virtual Challenge packs outside of South Africa. However, you are still welcome to enter and be rest assured that your entry fee will be donated to our charity cause.

05: Will I get a medal?

Need to Know Challenge Info From what to do, what to consider and all you need to know, it’s all here.

01: Why a Virtual Challenge in 2022?

For many years, the SPAR Women’s Challenge events brought women from all walks of life together to make a positive difference in our communities. While loads of fun were had on the roads, these events were so much more than just women’s races. Over the years, millions were donated to various charity organisations that work to uplift women and children across the country. The events also became a point of camaraderie and an occasion to look forward to every year! When the pandemic-related restrictions prevented physical events from taking place, we knew that the spirit of the SPAR Women’s Challenges needed to continue, but in a different form. As the name suggests, we love a good challenge, and this is how the Virtual Challenge was born. Through the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge we can continue to unite women and stand together to make a real difference. This year, for every entry, a pack of sanitary pads will be

donated to help keep a girl in school. What’s more, through sharing the stories of the many extraordinary women in our country, we aim to inspire all South Africans to rise above their challenges. #IRise.

02: Is the 2022 SPAR Grand Prix Series cancelled? Supporting the professional running community and the many amazing women in it is very close to SPAR’s heart. The SPAR Grand Prix Series will be taking place this year as six invitation-only races, with spectators welcome at the Eastern Cape and Lowveld venues.

03: When will the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2022 take place?

The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2022 will take place on Saturday 3 September 2022. By entering, you can walk any distance you like, in your own neighbourhood any time between 6h00 and 18h00 on the day, subject to government lockdown regulations of course.

04: Can I enter the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge if I do not live in South Africa?

Absolutely, we would love for you to participate virtually in the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge even if you reside outside of South Africa. Due to geographic constraints, we are not able

Definitely. Everyone who participates in the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge deserves a medal. These will be included in your Virtual Challenge pack. Once you have completed your Virtual Challenge on 3 September please wear it with pride, knowing that you have made a difference!

06: Will I be able to train and race the Virtual Challenge with my running club?

We would love to say yes, and under normal circumstances, yes! However, life in the pandemic is far from normal, so the best advice is to check and comply with the current COVID-19 related hygiene, physical and social distancing regulations at all times and plan accordingly.

07: Will I be able to run, jog or walk in a group? The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is designed to bring women from all walks of life together and we do believe in “the more, the merrier!”. However, the number of people that may walk or run together is determined by COVID-19 related government regulations. So, please check these before you get your group together to ensure that all is legal at all times.

08: Will there be route support and water points?

Because the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is exactly that, a virtual challenge, the area in which you walk is totally up to you and so is every aspect of your Virtual Challenge preparation. Why not encourage friends or family in your area to support you with a water point outside their door? We’ll leave it to you to be creative. The other option of course, is to carry your water and snacks with you. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



09: How will the virtual challenge be timed?

It’s your Virtual Challenge at your pace, so yes, you will be required to record your own time, if this is important to you. You can create a certificate of participation for yourself once you have completed the Challenge. Simply go to to generate the certificate. It’s as easy as that!

10: How can I add my voice to the virtual challenge community on the day?

We would love for you to share your experience on Virtual Challenge Day by posting photos and videos on social media with the hashtags #IRise. and #SPARVirtualChallenge. You can share these before you start on your way or even afterwards. Please be sure to tag the Virtual Challenge pages on social media so that we can experience your positive vibes and assist where needed. If you are running with your phone and stopping for pictures along the way, please be careful as crime is a reality in South Africa. Always be sure to take photos in safe locations. We encourage you to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings for your own safety. There will be a live feed running on our social media pages from 10h00 – 14h00, where we will be sharing some of what is posted on social media and the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge excitement around the country. Do tune in!

11: Will a virtual challenge pack be included in the entry fee?

Certainly! Your entry fee includes both your Virtual Challenge pack, and for every entry, SPAR will donate a pack of sanitary pads to help keep a girl in school. The Virtual Challenge pack includes our beautiful T-shirt, a gorgeous matching buff, your copy of the Virtual Challenge magazine and your treasured medal. Please be sure to check the website when you enter for details regarding collection and/or delivery options in your area. If you have any queries, feel free to 14


contact National Customer Care Centre or SPAR Customer Care on 0860 313 141. Alternatively, here are people that can assist in your region: South Rand (Greater Johannesburg, Vaal Triangle, North West, Free State and Northern Cape): Cornel Steyn Tel: +27 (0) 11 821 4238 North Rand (Tshwane and Limpopo): Sophia Matlou Tel: +27 (0) 11 203 5303 Western Cape: Melanie Jooste: Mazeeda Kamish: Megan Brickles: Kyle Harker: Tel: +27 (0)21 690 0000 Eastern Cape: Laura Dorothy Tel: +27 (0) 41 404 5387 Kwa-Zulu Natal: Mary Martens Tel: +27 (0) 71 392 4214 Lowveld: Bella Mogane Tel: +27 (0)13 753 6930 Sakhile Ndlovu

12: Where can collect my Challenge pack?

Challenge packs can be couriered directly to your door or collected from select SPAR stores. Check out to find out if there is a collection store near you.

13: Can I run the virtual challenge on treadmill?

Because the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is virtual, you may absolutely run on a treadmill, if that is what you prefer.

14: When do online entries close?

Entries close on 13 August 2022. We do recommend that you enter earlier rather than later as entries are limited to 60 000 participants.

15: Can I enter the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge at a SPAR store? Entries are available online at as well as at select SPAR stores. Check out the website for a list of SPAR stores offering in-store entries.

16: Will I get a race number?

Because this is not a traditional race, and it is a Virtual Challenge, official race numbers are not part of the package. However, if you would like one you can generate your own number on the Virtual Challenge website at www. Enter your name, print out the pdf and pin it to your outfit on the day. This way, people will see that you are running/walking South Africa’s most beautiful Virtual Challenge.

17: How will different lockdown rules impact the virtual challenge?

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that things can change anytime. We are of course beholden to the laws of the country. Please be sure to keep a lookout for any changes that may affect your participation on Virtual Challenge Day. While we have big ambitions, we need to keep within the law at all times.

Remember to use the hashtag

Share your virtual challenge experience by posting on social media and using the official hashtags!



Petals 16



With so much happening in the world, women are the most threatened species, especially in South Africa. Education is the cornerstone for economic and social wellbeing, yet an estimated 3 in every 10 girls miss school every month because they do not have access to basic sanitary products. Sanitary towels mean dignity for young girls and the 2021 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge in partnership with the Petals Project took up the challenge to give back self-respect and personal privacy to young women by donating packs of sanitary pads in rural areas and townships across the country.


s a woman, Kesa Molotsane has learned that not a lot of women are privileged to live a decent and respectful life when they are on their menstrual cycle. While others are fighting fertility nightmares and labour complications, or general maternity challenges, she believes society should encourage the appreciation of women. Last year Kesa decided to celebrate International Women’s Day in a very unique way in Gauteng, she visited the Universitas Academic Hospital’s maternity ward and the Mothers’ Lodge to show support, love and appreciation to our strong forces! My Sanitary Drive, in partnership with SPAR, contributed sanitary towels to new mothers and those mothers who are accommodated at the lodge; as a

token of appreciation for their bravery and resilience in making sure that life continues, despite the challenges they are subjected to daily. The 2021 #livelimitless SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge allowed SPAR Eastern Cape to assist thousands of young girls break through their daily challenges. To be set free and live limitlessly via the distribution of sanitary pads through organisations such as On Eagles Wings, Masimanyane, Inkanyezi and COSAFU. SPAR Lowveld’s sanitary pad journey has been inspirational. They were able to not only donate but become actively involved with community members to go the extra mile. Charities like GRIP, were able to once again conduct their

#IamSafer programmes at schools, children in schools ran their own sanitary pad drives to create awareness and support those in need, and running clubs came together to challenge each other in the 450km Run for a Purpose to raise more funds and create awareness. Young community leaders also came together to do health talks and distribute care packs to girls in need. The Lowveld region were so inspired to see how creative, enthusiastic and driven people can be to see and be the change. We saw how, after each girl had received their pack, they felt confident and inspired to do better and excel, as they were no longer limited. Thanks to all the amazing women who entered the SPAR Women’s Virtual




The official race charity for the 2021 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge, SPAR KZN was the Girls Only Project, a Durbanbased non-profit organisation that seeks to support, empower and nurture girls and women in sport, from those wanting to lead an active lifestyle to those who are pursuing professional sporting careers. With contributions made from entry fees into the 2021 Virtual Challenge and a sizeable portion from SPAR KZN DC, a whopping R100 000 was donated to the organisation to further its pursuits in supporting female athletes.

Challenge in 2021, SPAR Western Cape was able to donate 42 000 Petals Pads to Caring4Girls. The connection was initially made with Ilze Bothma, a working mother who hails from Gordon’s Bay, and four other amazing women from the Western Cape, including Prof. Thuli Madonsela. These women were all part of the 10th annual Trek4Mandela group who summited Mt Kilimanjaro before the Challenge to raise awareness for the cause. Caring4Girls started in 2012 after founder, Richard Mabaso, overheard a conversation between his mom and niece about menstruation. Realising fear and a lack of understanding existed, even within his own family, Richard was inspired to do something. Caring4Girls, for which Trek4Mandela brings together inspired individuals to assist in raising funds and creating awareness, was born. In Kwa-Zulu Natal, SPAR partnered with an amazing non-profit organisation called Xidulu to distribute sanitary pads 18


to schoolgirls. SPAR “Make a Difference” campaign ensures that there is a longterm sustainable economic solution for these girls by making sure that Petals sanitary pads are affordable for those that need them the most. Women are one of the most influential, powerful and bravest species to be found on earth. We need to acknowledge them for who they are, to appreciate all the sacrifices they make and protect them. Thank you to all the brands that stand, support and promote women and their power through their business. In 2022, the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge will not only help to break through these challenges, but also call upon women to rise above them.

Founder of the organisation, sports psychologist Dr Kirsten van Heerden, who represented South Africa in swimming at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, said, “We were completely overwhelmed with this enormous contribution to the Project in 2021, thank you to SPAR KZN and everyone who so generously donated. This support has helped us to continue to raise awareness around important women-insport issues and create greater visibility and representation for girls and women.”


Map your

Route for Challenge Day Our ambassadors from across the country have come together to share their tips and suggestions for planning your route for this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. They are sharing their personal tricks for making the most of your run/walk on Challenge Day as well as suggesting some of their favourite routes to run/ walk to help you rise to the challenge. 20


Some practical top tips for planning your route for this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge: This year seasoned runners Rene Kalmer, Kesa Molotsane and Glenrose Xaba’s most important tip is for you to look for a safe place to map out your route. Parks, open fields and safe common routes are always a good option, but they also caution that it is not a good idea to run alone and to only run when it is safe to do so. Why not get a group of friends or family to run with you so that you can smash those personal best times together - the more the merrier! Our ambassadors agree that it doesn’t matter whether you run/walk in the rural parts of the country where you can enjoy the sounds of nature or you run/walk to the beat of the busy urban streets, as long as you rise up and join the Challenge.

Some additional tips: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Make sure you stay hydrated. Choose the optimal route for you. Make sure that the route is safe. Run/walk with a partner or group to help keep you motivated. Use apps like STRAVA and MapMyRun to help you find local routes. Be safe and have FUN!





Western Cape

In the Western Cape, Anruné Weyers and Michelle Gildenhuys Adams have some beautiful suggestions for Challenge Day routes. For a brisk run through the hustle and bustle of Durbanville, Anruné likes to start her route at the Glengarry Shopping Centre, and run a circuit past the Vredekloof SPAR, Eversdale Primary, NG Stellenberg Church and Stellenberg High School, finishing off with the hill back to Glengarry Shopping Centre and a Vida e Café post-run coffee. Michelle on the other hand prefers her run to be a bit more scenic and suggests the Root44 Market Run as a perfect run with beautiful views, and at 5km, it’s a perfect route. Another of Michelle’s favourite places to run with her kids is along the Sea Point Promenade where they can ride along on their bikes. The ocean views always bring her such calm and serenity.

Eastern Cape

In the Eastern Cape, Yolanda Bukani enjoys the breathtaking Baakens Valley run, where she follows the guinea fowl trail past Dodds Farm, along the banks of the Baakens river which was historically called Gqeberha by the San. If she is in the mood for a lovely social run, Yolanda joins the Charlo time trial with the Charlo Running Club on Wednesday evenings. She thoroughly enjoys this fun-filled, hilly circuit starting at the Italian club, weaving around Charlo, and heading back again.


Lisa Bobbert McIlroy has a number of suggestions for some awesome walking and running routes throughout KwaZulu 22


Natal. Lisa is a fan of routes that are not necessarily on-road, for instance she suggests a choice between a bush walk at Stainbank Nature Reserve in Yellowwood Park, a run through the quiet suburbs of Kloof or Westville, or a brisk walk along the many long stretches of beach that make up Kwa-Zulu Natal’s coastline. Among her other favourite routes are the Durban Promenade which is always a great experience, and the Umhlanga Promenade, both of which have a wide array of refreshment station options. Zinhle Ndawonde also has a variety of favourite routes for you to choose from when you plan your route for Challenge Day. In Central Durban she suggests trying out a route at Ushaka, Blue Lagoon Park, Umgneni River path,

Moses Mabhida People’s Park or the Durban Botanical Gardens.


Gilda Mavromatis arranges a 10km SPAR to SPAR route in Mbombela every year from Crossings SUPERSPAR to Grove SUPERSPAR and back. There is also a route planned from Crossings SUPERSPAR to Courtside SPAR and back for those wanting to run/walk a 5km. For those looking for a shorter, less bustling day, Gilda offers up several beautiful options in Mbombela. The Lowveld Botanical Gardens offer a quiet space to contemplate, walk and experience the indigenous beauty of the Lowveld. Friends Café, situated on the Kaapschehoop Road, offers a lovely trail run/walk option, and walking on the Kaapschehoop Road is a favourite for both two and four legged runners and walkers, with refreshments afterwards. A favourite of Gilda’s is Kaapschehoop Village which is always a pleasure to visit, with wonderful scenic walks and hikes available in and around the village, and a host of refreshment stops.


In Gauteng, Irvette van Zyl and Ouma Tema offer up their choicest routes to help you plan for Challenge Day. For a great 10km route they suggest the Cow House for a scenic off-road route, or the Pretoria Botanical Gardens for a safe, circular route. A few of their other suggestions include the Union Buildings if you are feeling up for the challenge of some HILLS, LC deVilliers Sports Grounds, or the Voortrekker Monument which is hilly but safe to run. Fort Klapperkop is also a wonderful option but it is safer to run in a group in order to experience the great views and the possibility of seeing game. Ouma reminds us to look fabulous and take as many pictures as possible! Make it cute, make it lovely and most importantly, rise up for the most glamourous Virtual Challenge in South Africa!


Rising with Vision

Louzanne Coetzee We sit down with Louzanne Coetzee, the new ambassador for this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge, to learn a bit more about what inspires her to rise. She was born blind but this has not stopped her from shooting for the moon and landing among the stars.







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I was born and raised in Bloemfontein in the Free State for the first part of my life. My mom is a teacher and my dad is a dairy farmer. At the age of 6 I went to boarding school and after matric came back to the University of the Free State in 2012, where I studied Communication and Marketing. It was actually only in my first year at varsity that I started with athletics. I am definitely a fun-loving outdoorsy kind of girl, who is both an introvert and an extrovert. I enjoy socialising and most sports, as well as curling up with a book over the weekend. I enjoy hiking and spending time with family and friends. Currently, I work at the University of the Free State. As an athlete I have been to five World Championships and two Paralympic Games.


TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AND HOW YOU CAME TO PARTNER WITH THE SPAR WOMEN’S VIRTUAL CHALLENGE? I have two guides who run with me, one for track running and one for road running. After running the marathon in Tokyo last year and winning a bronze medal, my road guide, Claus Kempen, nominated me to become an ambassador for the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. This is a very special opportunity for me and a great honour. I appreciate the trust placed in me to carry over the goals of the Challenge and it means a lot to me to be nominated.




Last year, before the Paralympic Games, I had a hard time with training partners and training in general. Then, four months before the Games, I changed my track guide. Throughout this whole thinking process, and the difficulties with regards to making this decision, I had such great support around me. My parents, family and friends were very supportive. My road guide, Claus, kept on training with me and remained a great constant in my life. We have been training together for 6 years now and he has been rock solid in his support. The change in track guide turned out to be the best decision that I could have made with regards to my traning and Erasmus Badenhorst and I won a silver medal on the track in the 1500m at the Tokyo Games. Through his support and excellent guidance I managed to be my best on the track. Through making the tough decisions when I needed to and deciding not to please people, but rather to choose the best possible outcome, I managed to rise above a difficult time in my life. I have to add that being able to rise above was not just due to me. Without great support from my loved ones and excellent running guides I would not have been able to achieve my goals. I want to thank them and say how much I appreciate all they have meant in my journey.


WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO RISE AND WHO/WHAT DID YOU DRAW STRENGTH AND MOTIVATION FROM? My guides, friends and loved ones are the ones I draw strength from. My guides motivate and inspire me to be a better athlete and human being. Through their constant motivation, support and encouragement I manage to be the best athlete I can be. The volunteers and officials, like Ernesta Strydom, who sacrifice so much to enable us to do the sport that we love also motivate and inspire me to do, and be, better.


DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR LOVELY LADIES WHO WILL BE TAKING PART IN THE SPAR WOMEN’S VIRTUAL CHALLENGE THIS YEAR? When you have challenges don’t focus on them. Focus on breaking them down one piece at a time and then work through the little challenges. In this way you will be able to eventually solve your big challenge. Focus on solutions and not on the problems. Your power lies in your mind. Mind management is life management.


I would like to thank the SPAR ladies and the whole team involved with the ambassadors for empowering us to achieve our goals. I would also like to thank my friends, family, guides and everyone who cares for me and empowers me to achieve my goals. Empowering someone else does not make you less of a person, rather it allows someone else to achieve their goals and dreams and this is truly special. I can promise you, the person you empower will always remember and be grateful. You would have left a true legacy.





RISE Power to

The ambassadors for this year’s SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge have each experienced their own challenges and obstacles in their lives. Each one of these courageous individuals offers their unique perspective on how to tap into your self-confidence and personal power, giving you the courage to rise.




ANRUNÉ WEYERS Look into the mirror and remind yourself that you are beautiful and you are enough, with or without make-up. Disability does not define who you are, and through taking part in sport I was able to understand that my disability is part of who I am but it definitely does not define me. My passion and love for sport helped me build my self-confidence and gave me the opportunity to represent my country at multiple Paraolympic Games - allowing me to rise above my disability.

BONANG GWAMPI Listen to how you talk to yourself. Talk to yourself in a positive way and your outlook on life will change. Forget all the negativity. Yes, there will be negativity but keep it positive.

ANNELIE BOUWER Happiness is a choice. It is not automatic but rather comes from thinking positively and putting a smile on your face, even when you don’t feel like smiling.

CHRISTINAH MOLOKA Never give up and keep on pushing through your challenges.

DIANNE BROODRYK Relax, breathe, get up and do it!

CHARNÉ BOSMAN Wake up early to seize the day! Remember to take care of yourself.

LEILANI KUTER Don’t stand in front of the mirror for too long because, unfortunately, we become far too critical of ourselves. So rather just give yourself a quick glance before you go out into the world! 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



GLENROSE XABA Never give up in life. When you are faced with challenges, accept what is in front of you and keep on going.

ELANA AFRIKABREDENKAMP We are responsible for our own happiness and joy every day. So before you leave home or start your job or face your family, make sure you spend time with yourself and your Creator, because you were born to change the world for good. You will rise!

GINO FABBRI Keep putting one foot in front of the other and don’t give up! Keep your eyes open for the people around you who are feeling low or who are in trouble, and reach out to them. It will make you feel better to help others and you will make a difference in someone else’s life. Help other people!

DONNALEE ROBERTS You can’t always choose what happens to you in life. You can’t always choose your circumstances but you can choose to make the best of it. You can choose positivity and you can choose to rise up out of your circumstances and learn from whatever happens to you in life. When you choose to see the beauty in the smallest of things, in every moment, and especially in those around you, when you choose to call the gold out in people, to see the amazingness in them, to see what they might not see in themselves and celebrate and encourage that, then we can RISE together. #IRise. means that #weRise. When you are brave enough to stand up for what you believe in, to stand up for others, to not allow society and circumstances to define you. When you share, support, connect and celebrate others, you create a space for everyone to flourish, for everyone to reach their full potential, for everyone to RISE! 30


FAITH MOTAU Gravitate towards the things that make you happy and keep you calm when you are going through tough times. Find relatable stories of other people who are on a similar journey to you and listen to how they rose, so that you are inspired to rise.

GILDA MAVROMATIS Everyone who gets up in the morning and does the best that they can and assists their community in doing their best, is an inspiration to rise. We all stand on the shoulders of the one’s who came before us and you can find inspiration everywhere. Always be yourself, believe in yourself and never let other people’s version of you, be you.




We have power as human beings, we can do it.

Think of a really bad moment from your past and remember how you rose above it. Then look at your current challenge and know that will rise above this too and be better than you were before.


KESA MOLOTSANE Have a goal for the day. Set a goal for anything you want to do, work towards it and you will achieve it with the help of the people around you. Be positive and think positive, wherever you are.

No matter what happens, we can choose to rise above our circumstances and our struggles. Circumstances are only as bad as we think they are. Embrace every moment. Start the day with a smile and music and choose to RISE above what is holding you back. If it’s crazy and’s okay. Embrace your season and remember there is nothing you can’t change...sometimes it just takes a little time. You have a choice to rise - to be a better mom, find a job, learn a new skill, make your home look pretty, wash your face, smile and dream. Take the first step. It’s always the hardest but once you get going it will become easier. Trust your gut feeling. If something is holding you back, reach out for help, let it go or go get what you need. Rise above your thoughts of what you can or cannot do – your abilities change with your thoughts.

IVAN BOTHA JEANIE STEYN We are not meant to be alone in this world. Be present, be engaged and surround yourself with your people. When they rise you rise, when you rise they rise.

Always keep in mind, that no matter what happens in life, no matter what challenges you face, only you have the ability to give it power and allow it to consume you. Something only has as much power as what you give it. If you keep that in mind it is easy to believe that nothing crosses our path that we can’t handle. Never give up! 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



MICHELLE GILDENHUYS ADAMS I remind myself that I have four sets of eyes watching me every day and they will handle their challenges the way I do. Although it isn’t always easy to rise above, I take it day by day and always look for the bright side of every situation. I make sure that whatever I am about to do will have a positive impact on my children’s lives and on the lives of the women that are following me. I remind myself that I am enough.

LINDIE STRYDOM I’m not scared of failing or falling, because every time I rise back up again I bring something new from the bottom up - a lesson learned or wisdom gained, resilience, grace, understanding or a new perspective. This is also because I choose to “win,” to gain and to grow, even from a loss. I don’t expect life to be easy so I am not surprised when things sometimes go wrong. For me that is the adventure of life. May we all live it with purpose and with friends and family who become part of our motivation to rise back up again.

NOLO SKITI Keep on showing up and never give up. Believe in yourself and tell yourself that you can do this.

MARTIN BESTER I truly believe you should give your biggest performance even on the smallest stage. You never know who is in the audience. You are going to do it your way, but we will do it together. Go big and don’t hold back!


LISA BOBBERT MCILROY Remember that you are not alone. You are created unique by an awesome Creator who is within you and will help you through anything in life. 32


Firstly, recognise and love yourself for who you are. Then acknowledge that there will always be challenges along the road but you can rise above them. With determination and self-motivation, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.




#IRise. through knowing that every hardship and failure is meant to teach us something and make us stronger and wiser. I aim towards learning the lesson, moving on and becoming a better me.

Your attitude determines your altitude. When you wake up in the mornings no one else is going to do it for you, no one’s coming to get you ready for the day - determine your own attitude when you wake up and that will determine your altitude!

NOMVUZO ZONGO Meditate and tap into your inner strength. Look for the positive in all situations and be grateful.

PRECIOUS MTHEMBU #IRise. is to be able to keep going and doing your best in all life’s circumstances before things get difficult. I always believe that I am part of something greater, I will always lead a life serving those around me and loving what I do at all times.

RENE KALMER Always try to be positive and look on the bright side of life. Remember to count your blessings.

THANDY MATLAILA Work on yourself, for yourself, by yourself. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



SANDRA JACOBS If your head, your heart and your hands are aligned, nothing can stop you - you will rise and become everything you dreamed of.

SIPHOKAZI MENZIWA #IRise. to me means hope, means to be better. When things aren’t going my way I hold onto the hope that, no matter the circumstances, I will rise. One piece of advice that I would give is to keep your head up high and remain hopeful that you will rise above any challenges. We were not promised a life without challenges but people constantly need to fight to rise above those challenges. No matter the circumstances, even when in doubt, you need to keep on rising and be the change you want to inspire.

SARINA BOSMAN If you’re having a bad day, just put on some red lipstick. Get up, dress up and show up!

SOPHIA MATLOU Meet each day with a smile and a ‘Can do’ attitude. Rise each morning, knowing that you are powerful and capable to face whatever may come your way.



Despite the twists and turns of life, be sure to live your best life!

Because many of us spend a lot of time on social media, one of the ways I help my own mental wellbeing is by following influential pages and people who can have a positive impact on my life. Spend some time going through your social media accounts and evaluate if the pages you follow are bringing a positive influence into your life.

SHEBA SITHOLE Sport is a way out for many young athletes and I’m living proof that remaining focused in the face of adversity can open many doors. Running has enabled me to see many parts of South Africa and I enjoy pushing myself to the limit against the competition. 34






The only way to know yourself is to allow yourself to make mistakes, and to learn more about yourself through learning from your mistakes. Welcome the challenges that come across your path, these challenges are your opportunity to be better than the day before. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but in life I’ve learned that every challenge is worth going through - don’t go around it and leave it for someone else to gain the glory and the opportunity to be better. Take it for yourself. Your challenge is your opportunity.

You are enough just the way you are. You deserve good things and all of the things that you dream of.

Look yourself in the mirror, but look deeper and know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, regardless of what you might see. Rather be your own biggest fan instead of being such a harsh critic. There’s power and perfection in believing in yourself the way God believes in you.

ZINHLE NDAWONDE As women we are powerful, we are strong, we are phenomenal. Nobody can stop you from accessing your dream or being who you are. So fight for your dreams and don’t let the people around you discourage you. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what your circumstances are, you can use them to strengthen you to rise to who you want to be. You can always turn your scars into stars!

WILLEM BOTHA For years I felt that I wasn’t good enough, until one day I looked into the mirror and realised that every thing about me was made by God, exactly as I am. So every time I doubt myself or feel that I’m not good enough, every time I don’t fit into the expected box, I remind myself that God put so much effort into making me exactly as I am. Look into the mirror today and remind yourself that you are good enough because God made you, just as you are.

YOLANDA BUKANI Nothing lasts forever. Life is full of seasons, so dwell on the positive and know your why. Your beauty and confidence comes from within, so strive to be happy and positive - look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “Girl, you’ve got this!” 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE






The power of

recovery What we can learn from professional athletes By Helen Nicholson

My favourite meme over COVID was, “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” The last two years have given us a unique opportunity to press the reset button in our lives. We have all realised we have one life and we need to live it more intentionally and, looking after our health is not a luxury, but essential.


n our wellbeing journey we can learn profound performance lessons from the sporting world, which in many ways is the ultimate laboratory for studying high performance. All sports people have recovery built into their training schedules. I saw an interesting example of this when we first ran our leadership training programme at the HighPerformance Centre in Pretoria, where South African athletes train and prepare to compete internationally. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



We were watching the swimming relay team train (and I have to confess it was a very pleasant “eye candy” experience). Many hours were spent on this – all in the name of research! When the swimmers are finished a training session in the “heat” pool they go down to the training pool to do ten to twenty lengths slowly, where they recover and bring down their heart rates. If they didn’t do this, their next swimming training session would be compromised, and their performance would suffer. I’d like to see your boss’s face if you said that you need a “recovery” period between October and December, as you think you need an “off season”. You’re lucky if you get 21 days’ leave in a year. Recovery is not something that is recognised or appreciated in the business world. Yet in many ways we are the ultimate corporate athletes, as our demands are even more intense than professional athletes. We are also expected to perform the whole year round with very few “off” seasons, and our decisions have a more profound impact as they affect many people’s economic wellbeing. The pressure is extremely high, so we need to approach and prioritise recovery as an essential part of our resilience toolkit, just as athletes do. The quality of your recovery determines the quality of your performance. I believe we are still holding onto outdated paradigms where we associate holidays with recovery. We need to get more creative and intentional with our recovery.

I love words and writing, so I’d like you to imagine recovery as a yearbook. Your days are sentences. Your weeks are paragraphs. Your months are chapters. Your year is a book. 38


Daily Recovery Rituals

If your day is a sentence, what is your full stop at the end of your day? Your full stop is an activity that signals you’ve stopped working for the day. Just as meetings have hard stops when you have to jump onto another meeting, what is your hard stop at the end of your day? I’ve realised many people don’t even have commas in place to mark the end of their workday – they just keep going and wonder, when they’re still working on their laptops in bed, why they’re finding it so hard to sleep. I’m going to share my daily full stop recovery rituals with you in the hope that it will give you some new ideas or amplify your own. I have two full stops to mark the end of my day – the first is when I bath and change into my pyjamas (yes, I’m that girl in my pyjamas at 18:00), and the second is when I sit down on the couch with my husband, and we have a whiskey. We don’t have our phones with us and it’s our time to sit and catch up.

resilience. He responded saying he turns his phone off on a Friday night and switches it back on, on Saturday night. He is a religious Jewish man, so he practices a sabbath as part of his faith. He said that after his digital sabbath, he can feel the power start to flood back into his body on Saturday evening, as if he’s powered up his laptop after it has been on charge all night! Ideally your sabbath should include a digital detox where you switch off your devices. We are so connected, especially to our phones, that even leaving our phone in a drawer for thirty minutes feels like someone has cut off a limb. Our devices don’t support recovery, as every ping on our phone creates an adrenaline spike. Start small, by leaving your phone in another room or in your car for an hour, until you’ve built up some digital detox time. The more you intentionally disconnect, the more you’ll enjoy it.

Weekly Recovery Rituals

Imagine your week as a paragraph in your recovery yearbook. What is your recovery ritual over the weekend? I would strongly suggest that you declare either Saturday or Sunday a sabbath, which is dedicated to your stress relief and recovery. It has no religious connotations, but we can take powerful lessons from the religions which do advocate sabbaths. I attended a presentation by Adrian Gore, CEO and founder of Discovery, and asked him how he managed his energy and

Helen is the founder of The Networking Company, and bestselling author of Mindfulness, how to stay sane in an insane world, now available in bookstores and online. Follow Helen on Instagram: @helennicholson92


COMPETITION Follow the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge 2022 on social media for a chance to win a copy of Helen Nicholson’s book, Mindfulness, how to stay sane in an insane world.






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Stay hydrated!

Visit Download the challenge number PDF. Insert your own challenge number or just your name. Pin to your t-shirt when you do your virtual challenge.

Stay fabulous! Stay fabulous with your #IRise. Challenge t-shirt and buff. Why not pimp your t-shirt and add some sparkle? Be creative, have fun and let’s see how many ladies we can spot out and about on 3 September!

Remember to use the hashtag


Please note that the prices shown IN this article reflect the recommended retail selling price (RSP) and that costs may differ regionally from retailer to retailer. All prices are inclusive of VAT. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



CUT a ABOVE Fuelling our bodies to rise above is essential but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy every morsel we eat. Try these scrumptious recipe suggestions for breakfast, tea time or when your sweet tooth takes over!

Easy tea scones Smoked salmon breakfast stack 10 MINs

10 MINs

10-12 mins

15 mins MAKES 12

SERVES 4 Ingredients

1 x 500 g box SPAR potato hash browns (bake in the oven as per the instructions on the box) 1 x 250 g tub SPAR cream cheese 250 g SPAR Norwegian smoked salmon 4 soft-poached eggs SPAR Freshline avocado slices Cracked black pepper, to taste Fresh lemon juice, to serve


To make a breakfast stack, stack layers as follows: 1. A hash brown, cream cheese and a slice of salmon, and repeat the layer. 2. Place a medium soft-poached egg on top and finish with slices of fresh avo on the side, black pepper and a squirt of lemon juice. 42



250 ml (1 cup) SPAR milk 30 ml (2 Tbsp) SPAR butter 1 SPAR egg 500 ml (2 cups) cake wheat flour 20 ml (4 tsp) baking powder Pinch of salt Strawberry jam, to serve Whipped cream, to serve

Method 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Preheat the oven to 230 °C. Heat the milk in a pot until lukewarm. Melt the butter in the milk and beat in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and scoop into a greased 12-hole muffin pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve with strawberry jam and cream.





Method 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Sift the dry ingredients together. Mix the milk, egg and cream together. Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture. Mix lightly, but well. The dough must not be too runny. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add teaspoonful of the dough to the warm, deep oil. When the vetkoekies are halfway ready, they will turn over on their own. Serve warm with butter, mince, cheese, honey or syrup.

Easy muffins 10 MINs

Vetkoekies 10 MINs

15 mins


30 mins

Ingredients MAKES 25 Ingredients

500 ml (2 cups) SPAR cake flour 2,5 ml (½ tsp) salt 10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder 125 ml (½ cup) sugar 250 ml (1 cup) SPAR milk 1 SPAR egg 15 ml (1 Tbsp) thick cream Oil, for frying Butter, to serve Mince and cheese or honey or syrup, to serve 44


1 x 150 g SPAR yoghurt (any flavour) 2 x tubs SPAR white sugar 3 x tubs SPAR self-raising flour 2 large SPAR Freshline eggs 1 x tub of oil (any kind)

Method 1. 2. 3.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Mix together all the ingredients and spoon into a greased 12-hole muffin pan. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Note: 1 x small 150 g SPAR yoghurt = 1 tub





Easy flapjacks 10 MINs

20 mins

MAKES about 25 Ingredients

7-minute chocolate cake 15-20 MINs

7 mins

500 g self-raising flour 2 SPAR eggs 45 ml (3 Tbsp) SPAR sugar 250 ml (1 cup) SPAR Squillos chocolate spread with hazelnuts Butter, for frying

Method 1. 2.

MAKES 1 cake Ingredients

250 ml (1 cup) cake flour 250 ml (1 cup) SPAR sugar 15 ml (1 Tbsp) baking powder 45 ml (3 Tbsp) cocoa powder Pinch of salt 125 ml (½ cup) oil 250 ml (1 cup) warm water 2 SPAR eggs, beaten 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence


80 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces 150 ml (3/5 cup) SPAR fresh cream Strawberries and berries, to decorate

Method 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt together. Add the oil, water, eggs and vanilla essence and mix well. Pour the mixture into a greased ring pan and microwave for 7 minutes on high. Leave it for 1 minute in the microwave. To make the sauce, add the chocolate pieces and the cream in a pot over low heat while stirring until the chocolate has melted. Take the cake out of the ring pan. Pour half of the chocolate sauce over the cake. Decorate with berries and the remaining chocolate sauce before serving.


3. 4.

Mix all the ingredients together to form a batter. In a pan, heat a little butter and add spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. Cook and turn over when bubbles form. Use SPAR Freshline strawberries or blueberries to garnish, or whichever seasonal fruits you prefer.


The Rise of

Farm-to-Table Farm-to-table dining has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people are opting for healthier, more organic and ultimately, more sustainable options. But what is this movement, how did it start and does it really have any practical benefits for the everyday woman on the street?





he simplest definition of farm-to-table, is food that moves directly from fields to kitchens, be it in restaurants or homes. It isn’t supplied through traditional means such as wholesale or retail vendors. The phrase, farm-to-table, can refer to food sourced locally from small or large operations. It can also be applied to vegetables and meats sourced through farmers markets and community agricultural projects. In general, farmto-table means that the food on your plate was purchased directly from the grower. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



So, how did the movement start?

In the beginning, farmers and surrounding towns were connected by the simple basics of supply and demand. Veggies, milk, eggs and meats were typically available from a farmer just down the road or in your own back garden. As cities grew, populations shifted to urban landscapes. The distance between growers and markets naturally increased. By the early 1900s, food was routinely shipped from farms to market by train and truck. It was during this time that the concept of farm-totable began to take shape. The idea was to re-establish direct distribution between growers and consumers. In recent years, people have become more aware of what they are consuming, is it safe? Is it fresh? There has also been a greater mindfulness about supporting local businesses. With these trends we have seen a rise in families opting to buy local produce directly from farmers or growing their own fresh produce in their gardens. There has also been a rise in people who are willing to spend more money to eat in restaurants that work with this strategy in mind. A proper introduction to the farmto-table movement can be traced back to 1960’s-70’s America and a chef by the name of Alice Waters who was the first to use local produce in her restaurant Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. She is believed to have made a significant contribution in kickstarting the movement which soon led to the start of organic farming in America and later, Europe. Now the movement is taking root on South Africa’s shores. 50


Why is the farm-totable movement so important?

The farm-to-table concept, once considered just a trend, is now recognised as an important working component of agricultural sustainability. The production involved in farm-to-table operations helps maintain environmental protections that preserve fertile fields and clean water sources. Farm-to-table also plays a role in economic and community sustainability. It strengthens connections between growers, the foodservice industry and consumers. From farmers and restaurant staff to home chefs, we’re all part of a process that promotes best growing practices and results in a healthier food supply.


What are the benefits?

While sustainability stands as one of the biggest farm-to-table benefits, there are other advantages as well. Small restaurants, commercial kitchens and even at-home chefs can reap these benefits and more from this rising trend: • Reliable sources for fresh, quality produce and proteins. • Greater variety and flexibility for designing healthy menus. • Access to seasonal items for planning specialty dishes.

• A reduced carbon footprint, especially in farm-to-table transportation. Farm-to-table dining offers the unique perspective of knowing exactly what you are eating and when it was harvested. Whether you frequent restaurants in your area that source their produce directly from local farmers, visit local farmers’ markets or grow your own veggie garden at home, you are helping to support the environment and local agriculture with the added benefit of boosting your own health and wellbeing.


The rise of

Online Fashion In the aftermath of the pandemic and the resultant lockdown, South Africans began to see the necessity of online shopping. Platforms selling everyday essentials became a convenient way to keep our homes well-stocked with groceries, but the explosion of online clothing shops was an exciting surprise.


hile many sectors of the economy were struggling to survive through lockdown in 2020, online retailers experienced a boom in sales as South Africans avoided brick and mortar shopping malls and stores in favour of home deliveries. For many the thought of buying clothing without feeling the fabric or trying on the item was a foreign concept. It took being left with no other option for many South Africans to adjust and venture into the world of shopping for their clothing on a screen. More than two years later we have become seasoned online consumers, who can decide on an item informed only by a few pictures showing off its best angles and the help of a doit-yourself sizing chart. We browse through the images, add items to our cart and checkout like pros, all from the comfort of our own homes. In terms of fashion, Zando and Superbalist remain two of South

Africa’s biggest online fashion platforms. However, the shift to e-commerce has increased the competitiveness of smaller, independent brick and mortar retailers, who recognise the business benefits of expanding their client base online. The marketplaces offered by Takealot, Bidorbuy, and Facebook have provided a unique opportunity for small entrepreneurs to start their own businesses without having to invest thousands in starting their own digital platform to sell their products. And this has led to an explosion of variety for those who are shopping on their computers or smartphones. The pandemic has left a wide swathe of devastation for many throughout the world, but those who had the foresight to invest in the future of online shopping are now reaping the rewards. And we as online consumers are realising the benefits and enjoying the fruits. 2022 • MY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE MAGAZINE



HOT TRENDS FOR 2022 Rise to We’ve searched out a few trends to help you snuggle up this season as you bid farewell to the summer sunshine.


Rise up and channel your personal power with a suit that makes a statement this season.

Make it sparkle Add a touch of glamour to any outfit. Sequins don’t only have to come out at night and a sparkly handbag or bold accessories can make any outfit the centre of attention.

Bring Back Sexy Embrace your inner-sexy by dressing up a mini-skirt with warm leggings and boots. This adaptable little skirt is sure to add a bounce to your day, be it in the office or out on the town. 54


Kick Back & Relax Stay active and comfortable this season with your favourite leisure sportswear. This versatile clothing can be paired with tekkies for a run or high heels for brunch, without sacrificing the comfort we have all become so used to.


What in the world is

‘plogging’ and why in the world should you even know?

If you are a latecomer to the term ‘plogging’, sit up and take note. This is the running craze literally sweeping the streets from Sweden through Thailand to London and now, South Africa. It’s helping save the planet in the process. In this new eco-friendly running trend, ‘ploggers’ clean up litter on the run.





e all know that running is a healthy pursuit – though sometimes when we’re not in the mood, we try to convince ourselves otherwise. Though, when in the mood we proudly shout about it whenever we can. It is not only good for our bodies (our carbs and calves), but now, thanks to ‘plogging’, it’s proving to be good for the planet too.

Where does ‘plogging’ originate from?

Plogging is a portmanteau of ‘jogging’ and the Swedish word ‘plocka’ (meaning ‘to pick up’). Most of us are familiar with Brangelina, bromance and chillaxing, and now we have plogging, an aerobically taxing, rubbish-collecting activity that benefits not only us, but the Earth as well, and it’s popping up all over the globe. This movement was started in Sweden by trail runner Erik Ahlström, a Swede who encouraged litter collection while jogging. In Sweden, environmentally conscious runners have taken to collecting plastic litter during their runs. Founded by Ahlström, Stockholm-based group ‘Plogga’ aims to use the city’s runners as a force for good. His team of ploggers pull on their disposable gloves, grab a bin bag, and scan the streets for litter along their route. Once the bag is full, it’s deposited into an appropriate recycling bin, cutting down on the amount of plastic making its way into the ocean.

How can you get involved?

Try to find a plogging group near you and join them. Alternatively arrange your own plogging challenge. Simply get a group of runners together, get some bin bags and protective gloves and set out on a run, picking up rubbish as you go. The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is an ideal place to start! If it’s not only about the planet, but also a little bit about ‘what’s in it for me?’, just think about the core work you’ll sneak in bending down again and again to grab that stray plastic bottle!

There are a number of reasons why plogging may be even more beneficial than just doing the exercises.

1. It introduces additional movements to your exercise that could burn more calories. 2. Plogging adds an extra purpose to your daily workout. After all you are contributing to a really good cause. 3. Those that plogg regularly say it makes them feel even better because it amplifies the endorphin-powered ‘runner’s high’ that many experience with jogging. 4. It keeps you motivated mentally to do five more minutes, that extra mile, or those extra steps on your Fitbit, just so you can get those extra pieces of trash.

Some Tips

• You must have a positive attitude toward trying something new and a willingness to get a bit dirty. • Many ploggers like to carry their own reusable bags, hand sanitiser and backpacks to help make the cleanup a bit easier and cleaner. Maybe you can find bags to carry the trash you find in the same areas you are plogging - a double win! • The whole point of plogging is to stay in motion, so you won’t be able to pick up every single piece of trash along the way. A plogging buddy can help collect the pieces you miss.

Talk about it! Post about it on social media using the hashtag #plogging to make it even more fun, share ideas, and encourage others to do the same. If you type plogging into Instagram, you’ll see more than 60,000 photos of runners taking part all over the planet. Remember, it does not really matter where you are plogging because 90% of ocean plastic comes from land-based sources and simply getting this litter out of the environment can help keep it out of the ocean. Plogging can be done while walking, cycling, or hiking as well. Basically, it just means combining exercise with picking up trash and we think it’s great! Rise up on your route in your neighbourhood this year, help the environment and keep fit and healthy on Challenge Day.



Continue TO

READ more about the

SPAR Grand Prix Series


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MY 02

Message from SPAR



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Grand Prix Action Revisted


End Gender-based Violence

Rising for change with Thandy Matlaila

MY PACE 16 20

Rising a Victor The Leader of the Pack 2022 • MY GRAND PRIX SERIES



Message from SPAR

Rising above difficulty T

wo years ago, the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. The Government imposed strict lockdowns and people were confined to their homes. Sport was badly affected by the lockdowns and the SPAR Women’s Challenge was no exception. Mass participation by women of all ages, sizes and walks of life is what makes the SPAR Women’s Challenge so special. But the need to maintain social distance and the ban on mass gatherings meant that we couldn’t host the races that have become a huge feature of South African life. Because we couldn’t host the races, we decided that we needed to give the women of South Africa something to look forward to, so we introduced the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge, where we used social media and a sanitary pad drive for schoolgirls to bring women together. People who registered for the Virtual Challenge received an official medal, t-shirt, a face buff and access to the digital Virtual Challenge magazine. They could run, walk or jog and they could also choose their own route and distance. Entrants completed the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge between 6am and 6pm and then shared their experience on social media. But while the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge was such a resounding success, which was repeated in 2021, we realised that out elite runners needed more. They had been starved of competition and had also been unable to earn money. In 2021, in consultation with Athletics South Africa and the Department of Sport and Recreation, we agreed to host the SPAR 10km Grand Prix in six centres around the country. The SPAR Women’s Grand Prix Challenges are usually held over a period of about six months, but last year, we had to squeeze the six races into eight weeks. They were run according to COVID-19 protocols and no spectators were allowed. The runners were overjoyed to be able to compete again and to have the opportunity to earn some muchneeded money. It was a hectic period, with little time to recover between races, but the joy on the faces of the runners made it all worthwhile. We have a new SPAR Grand Prix Champion in Tadu Nare of Ethiopia and we believe she is going to set the world alight in the next few years. We will be back again this year, with another SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge and another SPAR Grand Prix Series and we look forward to a time, in the not-too-distant future, when we can go back to the vibrant SPAR Women’s 10km and 5km Challenges.

Mike Prentice

Group Marketing Executive The SPAR Group Ltd 2








By Jane Bramley



Joburg Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series at Marks Park

The COVID-19 pandemic threw the sporting world into disarray in 2020, as countries closed their borders and imposed stringent lockdowns. This inspired SPAR to spring into action to help runners to compete and earn money in 2021, in spite of COVID-19.

he SPAR Grand Prix was severely impacted by the COVID pandemic and the organisers were forced to cancel the series in 2020. However, in 2021, SPAR, at the request of Athletics South Africa and the Department of Sport and Recreation, staged a six-series Grand Prix to help the elite runners who were being deprived of much-needed competition and income. Another COVID surge, which saw restrictions on gatherings re-imposed caused something of a hiccup, but by August last year, the COVID numbers had started dropping again and SPAR jumped at the opportunity to showcase one of their premier sporting sponsorships, the SPAR Grand Prix. Six races were held at centres around the country, with numbers limited to a maximum of 250 runners. No spectators were allowed and strict COVID protocols were observed at all times. As an additional precaution the runners followed shorter courses, with two or three laps at each race. In normal years, the SPAR Grand Prix races are staged over a period of more than six months, giving runners time to recover and to take part in other events. However, in 2021, the six races were squeezed into a period of about three months. The first race was held in Pietermaritzburg, an area that had been badly affected by the riots and looting that erupted in July. Several top runners, including the 2019 SPAR Grand Prix champion, Helalia Johannes of Namibia, Ivette van Zyl and Comrades Marathon winner Gerda Steyn missed the race because they were still recovering from the women’s marathon at the Olympic Games in Tokyo earlier that month.

MY GRAND PRIX Pietermaritzburg Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series at Alexandra Park

Gqeberha Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series at South Campus of Nelson Mandela University

Ethiopian teenager, Tadu Nare (Nedbank), who was the SPAR Grand Prix runner-up in 2019, stormed to victory in Pietermaritzburg in 32:22 and gave notice that she intended to win all six races. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) was second in 33:40, followed by rising star Tayla Kavanagh of Murray & Roberts, taking part in her first race as a senior. The Cape Town race was next, run in September rather than the usual early autumn. Once again it was Nare who triumphed. 2018 Grand Prix winner Kesa Molotsane (Murray & Roberts) was second and her Murray & Roberts teammate, Cian Oldknow, was third. Xaba missed the race because of an injury. Another coastal race followed, this time in Durban. Nare was once again the runaway victor, followed by Xaba. Gerda Steyn (Nedbank), competing for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, was third. From Durban, the SPAR Grand Prix moved inland to Tshwane and Johannesburg. The Tshwane race was held at a new venue, the Irene Agricultural Research Centre, a rural venue far from the normal Tshwane venue at Supersport Park. Nare won once again, followed by Xaba, with Steyn in third place. But the story of the day was the performance by Nedbank’s Irvette van Zyl. The three-time SPAR Grand Prix winner had a traumatic Olympic Games, crashing out of the marathon with a 6


stress fracture. It was her third Olympic Games and the second time she failed to finish. In Rio de Janeiro in 2016, she was unable to start because of an injury. She admitted that the mental impact of her third unsuccessful attempt in the Olympic Marathon was worse than the physical injury. But Van Zyl is known for her grit and determination, and she finished fourth in Tshwane. A week later, she finished third in the Johannesburg race, behind Nare and Molotsane, with Xaba coming in fourth. A highlight of the Johannesburg race was the performance by Deirdre Larkin who celebrated her 90th birthday a week before the race, which she completed in 70 minutes. From the Highveld, it was back to the coast – this time to Gqeberha for the sixth and final race. Nare, who said she was using the SPAR races as part of a training programme for her first marathon in Barcelona, won easily, although she failed to run under 30 minutes, as she had hoped. She finished in 32:33. The best performance by a South African was young Tayla Cavanagh, who ran the fastest time by a South African in 2021 when she came second in 32:51. Xaba finished third in 32:59. Nare completed a clean sweep in the six races and went on to win her maiden marathon in Barcelona. What made her outstanding performance in the SPAR Grand Prix particularly

Irvette van Zyl warming up in Gqeberha

Top three finishers at the Joburg Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series


Durban Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series at North Beach

Cape Town Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series at Greenpoint Stadium

Tshwane Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series at the Agricultural Research Council farm in Irene

Tadu Nare finishing in first place at the Tshwane Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series

Kesa Molotsane running towards the finish at the Joburg Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series

impressive was that, because of visa difficulties, she had to return to Ethiopia after every race. This meant that time that should have been spent recovering and preparing for the next race was spent travelling between Johannesburg and Addis Ababa. The elite runners had nothing but praise for SPAR for making it possible for them to compete and earn prize money again. They all agreed that, although they missed the excitement of the usual SPAR Challenge races with thousands of runners, they were

only too grateful to be able to run competitively again. And the good news is that SPAR will be doing it again this year, with another six-race programme. Mbombela will host its first ever SPAR Grand Prix 10km race replacing Pietermaritzburg which has been removed from the calendar. Entries will be limited to 500 runners at each race, with the professional clubs bringing in their elite runners and local clubs being able to nominate runners to take part. The excitement is building already – just watch this space.

Cape Town Leg of the 2021 SPAR Grand Prix Series at Greenpoint Stadium




Rising for Change with Thandy Matlaila The SPAR Women’s Grand Prix Series has the amazing privilege of partnering with Thandy Matlaila as a Grand Prix national ambassador for the first time this year. Join me in getting to know more about this wonderfully charismatic woman who believes every challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow and rise.








WHO IS THANDY? Professionally, I’m an actress, presenter, former dance choreographer, yogi, philanthropist and business woman. In my daily life I’m a wellness advocate and am more focused on holistic wellness than physical fitness or wellness. I advocate that every individual should aspire to a wholesome, holistic and balanced life.



I don’t necessarily believe there has ever been a time when I needed to “rise” because every challenge to me is an opportunity to learn and grow.

I’ve always loved road-running and when I ran my first SPAR Women’s Challenge in 2014, I was intrigued by the support and the energy by runners on the road. In 2020 I told my management team to find out if it would be possible to partner with SPAR. At the time, all I wanted was to just run the whole Grand Prix series. Then COVID-19 happened and we were told the series would not take place but they would be in touch. SPAR kept their word and touched base last year, inviting me to be a part of the Virtual Challenge. They loved the holistic approach I take when it comes to my brand and how I live. I guess it’s the same thing that they are fostering with the Virtual Challenge. It’s more than a race; it’s a lifestyle, it’s a community and it’s an opportunity to set goals for yourself to be a “fitter” version of yourself, physically and mentally.


My strength comes from seeing my growth from the past. I actually keep a journal so that I can keep track of how far I’ve come; professionally, financially, training-wise and in other elements of my life that matter. I also constantly remind myself that this is my journey and the only person who can truly help me to overcome most challenges, is me. I am my biggest critic but also my greatest cheerleader. I’m learning to cheer more than I criticise as words are a very powerful tool. I also give myself a lot of pep-talks, “Thandy, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have anything to offer”.

03 05





DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR LOVELY LADIES WHO WILL BE TAKING PART IN THE SPAR WOMEN’S VIRTUAL CHALLENGE THIS YEAR? Whatever you do, do it for you. Run your own race, at your own pace. The only person you need to be better than is the person YOU were yesterday. When you look at the ladies around you, use them as motivation, not intimidation and remember, you are fearless and limitless.




My strength comes from seeing my growth from the past.








GBV with

Education and

Gratitude The SPAR Grand Prix invitational series hosts top professional female athletes from around the world. Despite the recurring waves of the pandemic last year, SPAR took the decision to continue with the series, but not without significant changes to the live event in order to protect attendees. Because of COVID restrictions, spectators were not allowed at the event, but could enjoy watching the series online. Athletes, coaches, media, sponsors and the SPAR End GBV team were fortunate enough to not only participate in what was an exciting and fun-filled road running series, but also to travel to six of South Africa’s most by WarriorRic magnificent cities.





ny tour of South Africa is a treat. For starters, it boasts two oceans – the Atlantic and the Indian. It is home to the majestic Drakensberg Mountains that provide visitors with a pristine experience of Africa from the scenic Eastern Cape with rolling hills, a vast coastline, forests and diverse flora and fauna. There is also spectacular game viewing in and around the Kruger National Park. A surfer’s paradise resides along the coasts of Durban and Richard’s Bay in KwaZulu Natal and, let’s not forget, the award-winning wines from picturesque valleys that are home to Cape Town’s world famous wine farms. Shamefully, this warmth from nature that is the panorama of our country fades far into the background while gender-based violence statistics present South Africa centre stage as one of the leading GBV countries in the world. For example, in just three months, between July and September 2021, 9 556 people, most of whom were women, were raped. During the same period 897 women were murdered, 64 more than in the quarter from the previous year - an increase of 7.7%. Experts say much of such violence in South Africa is culturally rooted, with patriarchal attitudes entrenched by high levels of poverty and unemployment that leave women particularly vulnerable. The joys of living in South Africa are tainted by these staggering numbers. 14


As an End GBV ambassador I got to hear heart wrenching stories first-hand from the communities where the Grand Prix took place, including from one of the SPAR Grand Prix athletes, Nedbank Running Club’s Ntombesintu Mfunzi. In our interview for SABC, and as part of the live feed for one of the races in the series, she tells the story of her horrific ordeal of being raped and beaten with a hammer before a race near her hometown in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. The severe impact inflicted on victims and their families is often irreparable, leaving individuals, families and even their communities scarred for life by senseless loss and injury. Read more about Ntombe’s incredible story on page 16 in the SPAR Grand Prix section of the magazine. 16 Days of Activism against GenderBased Violence is an annual international campaign that runs from 25 November until International Human Rights Day on 10 December. Initiated in 1991, its aim is to challenge violence against women and girls. South Africa took on the challenge alongside the rest of the world from 1998, but the results from the “16 Days…” campaign have not been impressive. In fact, the GBV numbers in South Africa seem to climb during this period, exactly when the international campaign should be making its greatest impact. SPAR, in the hopes of decreasing the number of injuries and deaths due

to GBV, decided that the organisation’s involvement in 16 Days of Activism needed to take on an approach that would go beyond awareness, where ‘activism’ means action! Hence, SPAR’s 16 Days of Education was born and launched during the 16 Days of Activism from 25 November last year. Experts say that the unequal status of men and women is the primary cause of gender-based violence. This inequality includes beliefs that women should be economically dependent on men and that women and children are a man’s possession and under his control. This leaves women particularly vulnerable and susceptible to all kinds of abuse. The aim of 16 Days of Education was to unveil the potential and real perils of vulnerability and dependence and to provide tools and best practices meant to empower through education. I was privileged to take part in the series of short video clips that launched during the 16 Days of Activism designed to educate viewers to reduce vulnerability and dependence, to help individuals and families work and play more safely at home, in the office and while on holiday. Although the messages were geared towards helping to prevent violence in the home, at work and while on the road, they were not all focused on self-defense. The video clips were specifically designed to address aspects of GBV caused by vulnerability, dependence and a lack of preparedness because abuse is not just physical.

Some of the video clips included how to: • Change a tyre • Wire a three-prong plug • Engage with someone from the LGBTQ+I community Other video clips suggested the kinds of basic tools and simple First Aid items we should keep handy inside our vehicles and in our homes in case of an emergency. Many local businesses and NPOs (Non-Profit Organisations) got involved with SPAR to help share tips and to demonstrate the best methods for curtailing vulnerability and improving preparedness. Although 16 Days of Education was a critical start to addressing the


scourge of GBV, SPAR didn’t stop there! We know that there are many people and organisations that have not taken the plight of GBV lying down. Some organisations in our communities have heeded the call to protect, shelter and educate victims as well as to help prosecute perpetrators. So, in 2022, SPAR chose to recognise one NPO every month across the country. Whether the NPO’s work focuses on protection, shelter, family care, substance abuse, education or job placement, SPAR showed gratitude in recognising each of the twelve organisations for contributing their noble efforts in performing acts of valour and demonstrating sheer hard work on a consistent basis. As a token of appreciation, SPAR will be presenting each NPO with a well-deserved R10,000 SPAR voucher. South Africa is home to the best nature has to offer! It is rich in mountains, valleys, rivers, oceans and nature in general. It is no wonder South Africa is found on most bucket lists. However, South Africa would be infinitely more delightful if we did more to help eradicate violence, by educating and appreciating each other in the spirit of love, peace and harmony.

Gender-based violence is endemic in South Africa and can affect anyone – man, woman or child. SPAR are using the strength of their platform to add their voice, in partnership with LifeLine, in speaking out against GBV and getting victims the help and support they need to see real change in their lives. If you are a victim or you see someone being abused, know that you are not alone in this fight. Contact us and together we can END Gender Based Violence in our communities South Africa: 0800 150 150 Swaziland: +27 0800 150 150 Namibia: 106 Botswana: 0391 1270

You can follow SPAR’s 12 Months of Appreciation campaign until the end of the year by going to and clicking on the End Gender Based Violence orange block on the home page. Or click here: SpecialPages/GBV/12-Monthsof-Appreciation. If you would like to check out SPAR’s 16 Days of Education launched last December, you will find the short video clips at Just click on the End Gender Based Violence orange block on the home page. Or click here: https://www.spar. Ricardo Gressel (aka WarriorRic) is a proud SPAR Brand Ambassador for the Grand Prix and Virtual Challenge. Motivational Speaker and Life Coach, WarriorRic is passionate about helping others find their purpose, and transforming lives as he transforms his own. He is a South African American residing in Boksburg for over 20 years with his wife, four children and two grandchildren.




Rising a

Victor My name is Ntombesintu Mfunzi, I grew up in Willowvale (kuGatyana) in a village of Ntsimbakazi. I have a B-tech degree in Human Resources Management and work for the Department of Correctional Services as an HR administrator at the St Albans Correctional Centre. I am an athlete affiliated under the Nedbank running club, a rape survivor and the author of the book, Yoyisa meaning ‘Overcome’.



Ntombesintu Mfunzi TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AND HOW YOU CAME TO PARTNER WITH THE SPAR WOMEN’S VIRTUAL GRAND PRIX? I am a product of the SPAR Women’s Challenge. I discovered my running talent in 2003 when I was doing my third year at Port Elizabeth Technikon. A classmate told me that she was taking part in the SPAR Women’s Challenge and I knew nothing about running at the time. She did not look like a runner to me, so I made a bet that I would run the race and beat her. So I entered and ran the 5km. I enjoyed myself and finished ahead of her, which is when my friend suggested that I join the Port Elizabeth Technikon athletics club. I have never looked back. Running has become a part of my life and I developed a special bond with the SPAR Women’s Challenge. These challenges give us a chance to promote women power and independence. To me every challenge that I run feels like I am delivering the message that “Our lives as women matter”.

SHARE YOUR STORY FROM THAT DAY IN NOVEMBER 2016 On 12 November 2016, the night before my race in Tsolo in a village of Mhlakulo, I was raped, beaten with a hammer and felt I would die for sure. I kept asking God if this was how He had planned for my life to end, without a dignified funeral as no one would ever know what had happened to me. All they would say is that I left to go running and never returned home. By God’s miracle, my attacker decided not to kill me. Instead he warned me not to use the main road and assumed I could not identify him. But his face was etched into my memory. I was attacked on a Saturday and he was arrested the following Wednesday.


WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO RISE AND FROM WHERE DID YOU DRAW STRENGTH AND MOTIVATION FROM? After accepting my situation I had to make a decision about my future that seemed unclear at the time. The only thing I knew was that my future would depend on how I decided to handle my experience and the decision would

determine the length of my suffering. I decided that I would not let the situation destroy me, I would rise above it as a victor not a victim. God gave me a second chance in life, He definitely didn’t save me to sit around feeling sorry for myself. I decided to fight and reclaim my life. I focused on my running to try to eliminate the suffering associated with

the trauma. l knew that whenever I had gone through a tough time in the past, every time I laced up my shoes and went for a run I always came back feeling better. During my healing process, with every stride it felt like I was punching the rapist in the face and every drop of sweat felt like I was draining him out of my body. After every run I would feel better and more alive again. 2022 • MY GRAND PRIX SERIES



HOW DID THIS EXPERIENCE CHALLENGE OR CHANGE YOU? WERE YOU ABLE TO DRAW ANYTHING OF VALUE FOR YOURSELF FROM THE EXPERIENCE? Through this journey I have become a source of hope for other rape survivors. To know that someone is still alive today because I helped them to see a reason to live after they had given up on life, helps me to heal. It makes me proud to feel that I am really serving God’s purpose. There is nothing better than the satisfaction of knowing that you are able to help somebody who is going through a similar experience. Yes, I have found my purpose through pain but I did not waste it. I believe all of us have a purpose in life and that sometimes God reveals it through suffering.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO SHARE YOUR STORY? I decided to share my story with the world because I didn’t want to die in silence but rather to speak out and be a voice for the voiceless. I wanted to give hope to other survivors and help them to rise above their ordeals as victors, not victims. I knew that reaching out to other survivors would also play an important role in my healing process.

To get your copy of Ntombesintu’s book, Yoyisa, contact her at 079 671 9059 or 18


DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OUR LOVELY LADIES WHO WILL BE TAKING PART IN THE SPAR WOMEN’S VIRTUAL CHALLENGE THIS YEAR? Do not give up the fight in whatever you may be going through in life. You must fight to overcome it and you must understand that it is crucial to face your challenges head on. Believe me when I say that running is the best therapy.

ANY FINAL WORDS? The purpose of the my book, Yoyisa, is to help rape survivors to rise above their ordeal as victors, not victims. Also, to give perpetrators insight into the damage they cause to victims and to plead with them to change their evil ways.



leader of the pack

Garmin Forerunner 55 The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge will once again attract ladies from all walks of life for a stunning road race this September. Garmin will be there every step of the way as the perfect accompaniment for runners, whether they are top professional athletes or recreational runners.





armin’s latest addition to the Forerunner, the Garmin Forerunner 55, is a top-of-the-line GPS running smartwatch that will be an unmissable part of any runner’s preparation in the lead up to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. The beauty of the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is that runners can compete at their own time and place and choose their own distance. This is where the Forerunner 55 comes into play to provide the best running experience for all women – no matter their experience and fitness levels. Specific running features include, daily suggested workouts, Pacepro, finish time, recovery time and race predictor with over 200 hours of data/ memory storage to keep track of every detail, from the first day of training until the finish line at the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. The Forerunner 55 gives a detailed statistical breakdown that takes the guesswork out of one’s running routine. It’s not just about heart rate and speed but covers a plethora of must use information to get the best personalised running workout possible. Daily suggested workouts based on training history and workout levels gives

runners the most accurate information to optimise their training schedules. Pacepro is the perfect assistant in planning one’s race strategy with GPSbased pace guidance for a selected course or distance such as the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Finish Time gives an indication of what a reasonable goal over a certain distance may be for each specific runner based on a variety of factors, whilst the recovery time pinpoints the amount of time needed for recovery inbetween intense training sessions. Wellness tracking is another fantastic aspect that the Forerunner 55 holds in its bag of tricks. Features such as all-day respiration monitoring, intensity minutes, stress tracking and hydration tracking are just some of the highlights of this smartwatch. Built-in sports apps (HIIT, cardio, swim, cycle, strength, and Garmin Coach) give another dimension to the Forerunners 55’s versatility for a complete workout. Women’s health tracking – where menstrual cycles or pregnancy stats can be tracked, is another fantastic feature that caters for women in all stages of life. Body Battery and Fitness Age are two

other essential everyday features that can provide a more productive training experience. Body Battery uses collected data to gauge energy reserves in order to optimise activity and rest times. Fitness Age can also estimate your bodies age using chronological age and resting heart rate as markers. Safety is also paramount today and the Forerunner 55 does not disappoint in this department. The Forerunner 55 has built-in live tracking and an incident detection feature that can relay a live location to emergency contacts. On an aesthetic level, the Forerunner 55 does justice to its name with leading advancements in the look and feel. The Forerunner 55 comes in black, whitestone, and aqua colours with an industry standard 20 mm band. The band also fits wrists with a circumference of 126–203 mm. Another superb feature is the extended battery life with up to two weeks of power in smartwatch mode and 20 hours in GPS mode. This is perfect for runners who can take on a run, knowing that the Forerunner 55 will stay active with them every step of the way. The Forerunner 55 lets you be the leading runner in the pack. 2022 • MY GRAND PRIX SERIES


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