Hundreds of young girls flocked to the Port Elizabeth beachfront to take part in the ever-popular SPAR Little Ladies’ Race, which was held at Pollok Beach on Tuesday morning.
The sixth edition of the 2.5km event, which serves as a prelude and curtain raiser to Saturday’s SPAR Women’s Challenge, raised money and awareness for SPAR’s Plastic Bag Campaign.
SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton said more criteria and plans pertaining to the allocation of money raised for the campaign would be announced at the women’s race.
“The Little Ladies Race is a special little event and is unique to the Eastern Cape,” Stapleton said.
“It is a great curtain-raiser to the Women’s Challenge by celebrating the beautiful spontaneity and youthful exuberance of young women.”
Stapleton said he felt the race, which attracted approximately 750 girls aged nine and under, would continue to grow as it presented an ideal opportunity for moms and daughters to bond.
“It stimulates camaraderie while offering the opportunity to exercise, enjoy the entertainment and win prizes. It is something special a little girl can do with her mom.
“It is a lovely feel-good event with much bonding and a great way for SPAR to give back to the community.”
The winner, nine-year-old Jenna Coetzee from Collegiate Junior School for Girls, said she took part purely for the enjoyment.
“It was quite short for me, but great fun,” she said after completing the distance in under 10 minutes. “I love running and the competition was good as well.”
Lethabo Mashiane, 8, travelled all the way from Johannesburg – where she attends Montessori School – to take part.
“It was my first time doing it and I did need some help, but I learnt a lot and I got the opportunity to get fit. It was good fun.”
Kaylyn Walters from Summerwood Primary echoed her sentiments.
“It is super fun when all of us girls can race together,” said the seven-year-old. “My teacher gave me a letter to do the race and I decided I wanted to do it.”
Five mother-and-daughter hampers and two bicycles were handed out in a lucky draw afterwards.
SPAR Brand Hampers ranging from R100 to R300 were awarded to the first five finishers.
The 25th SPAR Women’s Challenge, the province’s biggest road race, will get under way with the 10km event at 7am followed by the 5km at 8am from the same venue.