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On board for 'Fittest Mum' intense CrossFit competition

Gisborne mothers put themselves to the test.

Mothers from Gisborne gyms are putting themselves to the test in a bid to be crowned Fittest Mum.

Mums of all ages from New Zealand, Rarotonga, Australia and Asia are taking part in an intense CrossFit competition.

It starts with an online qualifier where entrants complete four workouts over four weeks in their local gym.

The workouts feature a mixture of weightlifting, metabolic conditioning (cardio) and gymnastics.

The workouts are released over November through the Fittest Mum Facebook page.

Mums are required to complete the workouts and load scores on to the online scoreboard by December 13.

Auckland-based event organiser Sly Natty said the online portion of the competition started small in 2012 with around 200 athletes. That number had tripled.

The top 24 in each category from the online event are invited to a competition in Auckland.

Gisborne mothers collected six podium spots at the last event in February.

“We see lots of mums coming from Gisborne,” Natty said.

“When they come they are always friendly and having fun.”

Gisborne gyms Maia Fitness, CrossFit 4010 and Metcon Mauri mums are competing in the latest Fittest Mum.

After 20 years in the health and wellness sector, Maia Fitness owner Stephanie Broughton realised the system had gaps, especially for Māori.

With the help of her whānau, she opened her own gym.

“Everything we do is kaupapa Māori,” Broughton said. “We have tikanga in here so we don't have rules.

“We don't refer to ourselves as a gym. We are a whare.

“We don't refer to our members as members. They are whānau.”

Stephanie's mother Yvonne has entered the Fittest Mum competition for the first time at the age of 62.

“Mum has been fit as long as I can remember. Years ago she took up being a Zumba instructor so we all did it. Then we all did Iron Māori together.”

Yvonne began doing CrossFit after seeing granddaughter Kalani doing it and entered the competition to show her she could do it, too.

“Just to say I competed. Just to say I've done it and let my moko see that I've done it,” Yvonne said.

CrossFit 4010 mums Tamera Nelson and Debbie Hutchings have been doing CrossFit for more than 10 years.

In the February competition, Nelson was first in the RX (top division) 35-years-plus division while Hutchings placed second in the RX 40+ division.

Hutchings originally qualified in the 45+ division but the two divisions were combined due to numbers.

First-time competitor Sarah Hunter entered to challenge herself after having done CrossFit for only six months.

“I really love it,” she said.

“On a Sunday all the mums come down to do the workouts and are really supportive. It just keeps you going as opposed to doing it on your own.”

Metcon Mauri's mother of five Mandy Campbell said peer pressure from her “gym friends” was the reason she entered.

“It's not about the workouts any more,” Campbell said. “It's about getting here, doing it and sanity.

“We are a group of women who probably would never have met, but CrossFit brought us together.”

Metcon Mauri mum Kimiora Biddle, who was second in the RX open section at the February competition, is doing it to show five-year-old daughter Kara “that mamas are strong”.

• Progress in the Fittest Mum competition can be followed on its Facebook page.

Working out: Metcon Mauri mums complete Workout 2 of the Fittest Mum online qualifier — six rounds of 10 wallballs and 10 box jumpovers. Picture by Renae Lolohea
Successful lift: Tamera Nelson snatching victory at the Fittest Mum competition this year. Picture by Nykie Grove-Eades
Rope test: Debbie Hutchings makes easy work of the rope climbs in the RX 40+ division. Picture by Nykie Grove-Eades