Boxing for fitness is beginning to pack a punch with Oamaru mothers.
Latesha Mumberson began Women’s Seaside Boxfit from her Avon St garage 10 weeks ago to ease back into work after having her youngest child.
The qualified personal trainer is from Australia’s Gold Coast, and moved to New Zealand about two years ago with her partner, New Zealander Adam Taylor.
Her son Maverick is now eight-months-old, and she decided setting up a boxing class from home meant she could run the classes while Maverick and 2-year-old Harleigh were in bed.
“When I came over here, when I did my [personal training sessions], I’d always put boxing into them, and everyone just loved it, and I wondered if this was a thing that everyone would be real keen on doing, and everyone was.
“They all ended up buying their own gloves and pads, and got real involved in it,” she said.
Ms Mumberson had gone from two to four classes a week, and they averaged between 10 and 16 women.
“It’s not really technique based – to become a boxer, sort of thing – it’s more real fun combinations, and games, ” she said.
She estimated she had about 60 women in the group all together.
The classes had started out with some of Ms Mumberson’s former clients, along with members of her Waitaki Wahine rugby team. Numbers had grown through word of mouth and social media.
Mr Taylor grew up in Ashburton, and the couple moved back there from the Gold Coast when his father became ill about two years ago.
He loved Oamaru as a child, so when he got offered a job as a tiler, they made the move.
He was now completing an apprenticeship to be a linesman with Network Waitaki.
Ms Mumberson had always worked with women because she felt she could relate to them better.
“Then I changed to mums, because after having kids you kind of know what they’ve been through, and how they are.
“Yeah, it’s just a lot easier to train someone that you can relate to.”
The classes were less about visible results and more about getting out and socialising.
“I just love it. You can tell it on their faces how much they’re enjoying it, honestly, not just like the whole fitness side of things, or the whole boxing thing … Everyone just has a laugh, and that’s honestly the best thing about it.
“They’re so committed and they love it so much.
“I can relate, I love getting out too and having a break from the kids – just go socialise with other mums and just have fun.”
Ms Mumberson became a personal trainer six years ago, after her mother developed diabetes and she wanted to be able to help her.
She had always been active and played sport from a young age.
While the boxfit classes started out as something fun, and worked in well with her “chaotic” life, she was excited about the prospect of making it bigger one day, but when the timing was right, she said.
Those interested in taking part can find more information on Facebook, or Instagram @seasideboxingoamaru.