In an effort to be fully inclusive, the invitation list for the SPAR Kids’ Challenge in Port Elizabeth has been widened to allow young boys to be part of the fun event when it takes place on Wednesday, May 1.

The 2.5km race, which starts at 9am at Pollok Beach in Summerstrand, will kick-start the week of the highly popular Women’s Challenge 10km and 5km events to be held on Saturday, May 4.

The Kids’ Challenge for children 12 years and younger is unique to Port Elizabeth and SPAR sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton said it played an important role in their drive to encourage “a healthy, exercise-filled lifestyle”.

“As no other regions incorporate an event of this nature into their Women’s Challenge event, it is a special race for Port Elizabeth, with an emphasis on family participation,” he said.

“What started as the Little Ladies’ Challenge has now become the Kids’ Challenge.

“Last year we felt for the little brothers who had to stand and watch on the sidelines or stay at home. So they, and their fathers for support, can join in the fun this time.

“We want to bring whole families together for a real fun event on May 1, incorporating exercise and camaraderie.”

SPAR Eastern Cape will also be using the Women’s Challenge to promote its STOP Plastic campaign, which it put into place last year to raise awareness about the dangers plastic poses to the environment.

“A new little friend, Zisa, our STOP Plastic ambassador, is coming down to the event and we have asked her to bring some friends along to chat to the kids,” said Stapleton.

“We want to keep raising awareness of what we are trying to do and if we can educate our children from a young age about this issue we believe it will go a long way to eradicating the problem.”

Most of all, he added, they wanted the children to have fun.

“It’s all about bringing the family together and hopefully the exercise bug will bite.”

Besides having fun with Zisa the mascot, children will have access to lots of surprises, entertainment and lucky draws.

There are three bikes up for grabs at the prize-giving, as well as SPAR hampers and a pair of Puma running shoes. The entry fee is R30 and there are T-shirts for the first 800 entries.

Online entries can be done on the SPAR Eastern Cape website ( These will close on April 27, while manual entries can be done on the day of the event from 7.30am at Pollok Beach.

SPAR Eastern Cape sponsorships and events manager Alan Stapleton will introduce Zisa, the STOP Plastic campaign ambassador, to the children at the Kids’ Challenge on May 1. The 2.5km race takes place at Pollok Beach and is the curtain-raiser to the Women’s Challenge 10km and 5km events to be held on May 4. Photo: Leon Hugo

Issued by: Full Stop Communications