On Sunday, 1 October 2023, Johannesburg witnessed a vibrant and spirited event as 9,000 participants flooded the streets for the SPAR Women's Challenge Jozi, conquering both the 5km fun run and 10km races. After three years of virtual presentations due to the challenges posed by the
Covid-19 pandemic, this year's live event marked a triumphant return that filled the streets with runners and smiles.
Charleen Goschen, Divisional Marketing Director for SPAR South Rand, expressed her gratitude, saying, "It's with immense gratitude that we acknowledge that this year's race is 'live' again after three years of presenting it virtually, a period when the Covid-19 pandemic challenged us in ways we never could have imagined. Your resilience and enthusiasm for the SPAR Women's Challenge Jozi shine brightly."
Goschen also extended congratulations to the elite athletes who participated in the final leg of the SPAR Grand Prix for 2023, remarking, "Your dedication and passion for the sport inspire us all."
The SPAR Women's Challenge Jozi is a cornerstone of SPAR's sponsorship goals, dedicated to supporting women, particularly women in sports. Goschen emphasized, "It's our firm belief that when we empower women, we empower entire communities. This event, which promotes inclusivity and athleticism among women of all backgrounds and fitness levels, aligns seamlessly with our commitment to making a positive impact."
The event day was filled with excitement, including distributing amazing prizes such as SPAR vouchers and selecting a lucky winner for the Proton X50.
Irvette Van Zyl, the first South African to cross the finish line, returned triumphantly after a prolonged injury, expressing her joy, "I am so happy to be back and to be enjoying my running again. I am now running pain-free for the first time in ages."
The streets were painted with smiles, reflecting the spirit of this year's #4Smiles campaign, which added to the jubilant atmosphere of the SPAR Women's Challenge Jozi. Additionally, the event proudly supported the Smile Foundation and Reach for Recovery, contributing much-needed donations to these charitable organisations. Having the charities present to receive the donations further enhanced the feel-good spirit this race has become known for.
The SPAR Women's Challenge Jozi continues to empower women, promote fitness, and positively impact the community. As the event celebrates its triumphant return to the vibrant streets of Johannesburg, it remains a beacon of hope, unity, and resilience.