South African television personality Nico Panagio and top recording artist Jimmy Nevis are set to entertain the crowds during the SPAR Women’s Challenge at Pollok Beach in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, May 9.
Top Billing presenter Panagio will act as master of ceremonies on race day, facilitating the event to ensure that all segments of the programme flow seamlessly.
One of these programme highlights will be the post-race prize-giving, during which one lucky participant will be handed the keys to a brand-new, limited edition Hyundai i10 Glide.
Panagio is no stranger to the SPAR Women’s Challenge, having emceed many of the regional races over the years, especially the Pretoria leg of what is collectively known as the SPAR Grand Prix series.
“Since this is a community initiative I think the most important outcome of this event is that everyone enjoys the opportunity to come together,” he said.
“And of course to celebrate possibly the most integral element to the survival of the human race – women!”
Apart from being entertained by the male runners dressed in drag, Panagio said he was always inspired by those ‘never say die’ runners who finished right at the end.
“And then there are those boerie rolls . . .”
This year the PE race falls on the same weekend as Mother’s Day and although Panagio’s own mother passed away six years ago, he said he celebrated her every day.
“On Mother’s Day my father, two sisters and I call one another and reminisce about her food and silly sayings.
“Each of us has a certain part of her personality and when we spend time together it almost seems like she is there,” he said.
Panagio said that he and his daughters would also be celebrating his wife on the day.
“My girls love their mom dearly and share her love for creativity, so we will probably make some sort of artistic creation as a gift.”
He said that events like the SPAR Women’s Challenge were a chance to celebrate the importance of not taking people for granted.
“For me, women are the most incredible blessing to humanity and we must never forget what they mean to us.”
On the musical front, Nevis will entertain the 13 000 participants and their supporters by performing some of his hit Sama-nominated songs, such as “Heartboxing” and “In love with you”.
“I am there to make sure everyone is ready to party,” said Nevis.
Like Panagio, this is not Nevis’s first time performing at the event.
“It is always such an honour to perform at the Women’s Challenge.
“It will be a fun time, as always. I will have my band with me so we’re going to make sure everyone is dancing,” he said.
Nevis said he too would be celebrating the most influential women in his life over the weekend.
“My mother is my rock. I can depend on her through anything and everything.
“And my grandmother is the glue in my family. She exudes royalty and class.”
He said events like the SPAR Women’s Challenge and Little Ladies’ Race performed an important social function.
“Women are strong, but this is sometimes forgotten.
“These events are a great reminder to everyone that women are to be praised, respected and empowered.”
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