SPAR Eastern Cape wrapped up the Women’s Challenge with a donation to beneficiaries on Saturday in a year when the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to the running of the 5km and 10km races.

While there will be disappointment that the occasion did not happen in March, SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton drew several positives from the final outcome at the official handover at the Old Grey Sports Club in PE.

The chief of these was financial contributions of R35 000 to each of Khazimla and the Community Chest in Port Elizabeth and Options in George as part of the retailer’s commitment to the community.

Stapleton emphasised this important aspect of the overall Women’s Challenge concept.

“Apart from celebrating women and thanking our customers for their support, the Women’s Challenge has always stood for supporting communities,” he said.

“So it is really humbling to be able to assist organisations who reach out to those in need.

“In this case, all three organisations support girls and women who are unable to afford sanitary protection. It’s gratifying that we are again able to support them.”

In addition to the financial support, he said R40 000 in sanitary protection products was donated, while the goody bags for the race were given to several organisations across the Eastern Cape.

Stapleton felt the setbacks experienced in 2020 would create a strong desire to bond even more going forward.

“This has been a year that we would all like to put behind us,” he said. “The appetite to get together in a spirit of healthy exercise and camaraderie is probably stronger than ever.

“We will be aiming to offer an event next year that fulfils all those expectations, and more.”

He added that planning was already under way for the 2021 Women’s Challenge.

“Obviously, we will not ignore the current circumstances but, with Covid protocols and restrictions in mind, we want to offer a day of fun and festivity that will top all previous Challenges.”

Stapleton said they were aware that some entrants did not receive the SMS or see the social media notices about the collection of their race shirts.

He said provision has been made for them to collect their T-shirts on Saturday (September 12) from 9am to 4pm at the Old Grey Sports Club.

“We request that you bring proof of entry in the form of the online confirmation or your race number to collect your shirt.”

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