Bottom’s up for finalists

Some of the Cambridge-based Fat Bottomed Girls with the certificate naming them as finalists for a Sport Waikato award. They are, from left, Louise Macfarlane, Christine Hall, Joanne Todd, Dorothy Gaunt, Colleen Carr and Margaret Ball.

Cambridge’s purple-clad Fat Bottomed Girls & Guys New Zealand are finalists in Sport Waikato’s 2020 Sport and Active Recreation Awards.

They have secured a spot alongside two other finalists in the competition’s Outstanding Active Space Initiative category; the others are Hamilton’s Melville Skate Park upgrade and Taupo’s Spa Park Dirt Jumps. Covid-19 restrictions mean the winners will be announced on the Sport Waikato Facebook page at around 6pm on January 28.

Sure to be watching are the admin mum and daughter duo, Hayley and Joanne Todd.  They have been members almost since the group started nearly four years ago, and not long afterwards took up the administrative mantle. Together, they’ve succeeded in growing membership from 40 in the first year to around 90 at the moment.  The group was once known solely as the Fat Bottomed Girls, but the recent addition of a couple of blokes has seen the moniker change to Fat Bottomed Girls and Guys NZ.

Members meet regularly throughout the week during the active March to October months, and then on a more casual basis during the summer break.  Some of them stride the 40 local walks, or sections, for fitness, others for fun – most for a bit of both.  Walks are often followed by a coffee call at local cafes, or occasionally something stronger.

“It’s very much a social group,” explained Hayley, saying that members meet up as and when they prefer to walk a range of distances.

Joanne said many opt to complete what is called the Urban Challenge during the active months.

“That requires a member to complete every one of the 40 sections at least once during that time,” she said. Sections are roughly 5-6km – members can also opt to do half sections, she said. Twenty-eight of the 90 members completed the challenge last year, with one of their number covering about 1000km.

The group shows up at regular events, always resplendent in their purple t-shirts and usually walking as their beloved theme song – Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ – is belted out as an accompaniment.

They support a range of charity events and have chalked up several awards in the past, most of them through the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life events.

Hayley was particularly involved in preparing for the Sports Waikato award, putting in countless hours collating the material needed to enter their category. “We’ll be watching it with bated breath,” she smiled.  “We might even get a group of us together to watch it.  Here’s hoping for a win!”

Anyone wanting to know more about the group should contact them via their Facebook page, or email them at fbgclubnz@gmail.com.

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