Laughter, encouragement and fitness.

Those are the cornerstones of a group of mums who work out at Whangārei's Kensington Park several times a week.

The group, called Kettle and Me, was founded by Whangārei woman and mum of four Ngahuia Lord. She describes it as a safe space for mums where they can work out without feeling pressured or judgement.

"I used to go to the gym quite a lot but after having a baby I was a bit self-conscious," Lord said.

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She said gyms are also not somewhere you can take kids so she thought: "you know, I'm going to make my own space".

"I've been doing it for two years but we've only been up at the park for about six months."

She said it originally started at her mum's house - she could train in the garage and her baby was inside with her mum - but need to move somewhere bigger as the group grew through word of mouth.

Ngahuia Lord with some of the mums in her fitness group, Kettle and Me. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Ngahuia Lord with some of the mums in her fitness group, Kettle and Me. Photo/Michael Cunningham

Apart from the park being central, it's the perfect place for the mums as they can bring their children and watch them play while they train.

"We're all mums, we get it."

Lord said the group can range in numbers from four to 15, and train from Tuesdays to Saturdays for an hour, starting at 9am. Saturday's sessions are often held in different places.

"It's nice, a little time frame for the mums to have some time for themselves.

"What I really love about our group is that everyone is just so full of laughter, we come here without judgement, and it's just a space to express yourself through movement."

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Lord said she has a passion for fitness and organises the workouts.

"We train with a kettlebell and what I really love about that is that it's so versatile, you can do anything with it, helps your body get into a bit of a flow, a rhythm."

She said the mums get to work their minds and bodies while being surrounded by a group who motivate, support, encourage and lift each other up.

Lord said the mums are always open to trying something new and enjoy the group.

"It's somewhere they can come and bring their children, they feel comfortable and they feel accepted."

When the Northern Advocate visited, there was plenty of smiles and laughter.

"And it's always like that," Lord said. "Unless I'm killing them with a workout."

She said when she started the group, she never expected it would grow like this.

"I suppose it's my passion that grew into my purpose. The reward I get helping other mums."

For other mums wanting to get involved - just turn up on the day, or find Ngahuia Lord of the Kettle and Me group on Facebook.

Costs are $7 for a casual or $20 for a week and the first class is free.