Posted on November 19, 2021 at 1:42 p.m.

Gisborne’s mothers put themselves to the test.

Gisborne gymnasium mothers put themselves to the test to be crowned Fittest Mum.

Moms of all ages from New Zealand, Rarotonga, Australia and Asia compete in intense CrossFit competition.

It starts with an online qualification where participants complete four workouts over four weeks at their local gym.

Workouts feature a mix of weight lifting, metabolic conditioning (cardio), and gymnastics.

The workouts are posted in November on the Fittest Mum Facebook page.

Moms are required to complete workouts and upload scores to the online scoreboard by December 13.

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

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

The mothers of Gisborne collected six podiums in the last event in February.

“We see a lot of moms coming from Gisborne,” Natty said.

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

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

After 20 years in the health and wellness industry, Maia Fitness owner Stephanie Broughton realized the system was flawed, especially for Maori.

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

“Everything we do is Maori kaupapa,” Broughton said. “We have tikanga here, so we don’t have any rules.

“We don’t see ourselves as a gymnasium. We are a beast.

“We do not designate our members as members. They are whanau.

Stéphanie’s mother, Yvonne, first entered the Fittest Mum competition at the age of 62.

“Mom has been in good shape for as long as I can remember. Years ago she started to be a Zumba instructor, so we all have. Then we all did Iron Māori together.

Yvonne started doing CrossFit after seeing her granddaughter Kalani do it and entered the contest to show her that she could do it too.

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

CrossFit 4010 moms Tamera Nelson and Debbie Hutchings have been practicing CrossFit for over 10 years.

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

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

First-time competitor Sarah Hunter came in to challenge herself after doing CrossFit for just six months.

“I really like him,” she said.

“One Sunday, all the mothers come for training and are really united. It just lets you continue instead of doing it yourself.

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 anymore,” Campbell said. “It’s about getting here, doing it and being sane.

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

Kimiora Biddle, mom of Metcon Mauri, who finished second in the open section RX in the February competition, does so to show her five-year-old daughter Kara “that moms are strong.”

• The progress of the Fittest Mum competition can be followed on its Facebook page.

Workout: Metcon Mauri’s moms complete Fittest Mum Online Qualifier Workout 2 – six sets of 10 wallballs and 10 box jumpovers. Photo by Renae Lolohea

Elevator Successful: Tamera Nelson claimed victory in the Fittest Mum competition this year. Photo by Nykie Grove-Eades

Rope test: Debbie Hutchings makes it easier to work on rope climbs in the RX 40+ division. Photo by Nykie Grove-Eades


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