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Power of sport seen through Spar ladies race

JOHANNESBURG – The top finishers in the 2017 Spar Women's Challenge were honoured at the recent Spar Grand Prix Awards.


As the curtain fell on the 2017 Spar Women’s Challenge with an awards ceremony that honoured the year’s top athletes, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Gerhardus Oosthuizen emphasised the importance of the Spar Grand Prix series.

He was speaking at the Spar Grand Prix Awards held in Muldersdrift on 7 November. The minister said the series had become instrumental in promoting equity, enhancing social cohesion and expunging socio-economic challenges.

“The Spar Grand Prix series is the biggest female sporting event worldwide,” he said. “The over 148 000 active participants this year were a clear indication of what sport can achieve. It can promote equity, overcome adversity and create a society where women can take their rightful place.”

Oosthuizen added that the event also acted as the ideal platform to lobby broader society to stand against the abuse of women and children. He said the series was an extension of the Department of Sport and Recreation’s National Sport and Recreation Plan, which has a strategic focus towards reconstructing and revitalising the delivery of sport and recreation to all South Africans.

Athletics South Africa CEO, Richard Stander, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Gerhardus Oosthuizen, KPMG and third place finisher, Nolene Conrad and Spar marketing executive, Mike Prentice at the Spar Grand Prix Awards held in Muldersdrift. Photo: Tshepiso Mametela

“We really use the platform to strongly advocate against the abuse of women and children. The department is very strong on the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, where we say no to violence, not only in the 16 days but lifelong.

“We see this as a platform to advocate for that and to talk about it frankly.” He pointed out that the National Sport and Recreation Plan had a transformation charter which inherently was to ensure that equity was achieved, that women’s sport was advanced and that women were empowered.

“It’s a long way to go, however, if we look back 10 years ago when the Spar Women’s Challenge series was launched, we’ve seen it grow exponentially. What we also see is the impact that the participating females have had on society, but more importantly, we’ve seen that they’re steering away from sedentary to healthier lifestyles.”


Related stories:

Spar awards top finishers in 2017 Spar Women’s Challenge

Non-competitive runner Joan Kent-Smith speaks about her 28th race in the Spar Women’s Challenge

Tell us if you think sport alone has the power to promote social equity by posting your comments on the Rosebank Killarney Facebook page.

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