Becs Vanderklip

Last year for Pink Ribbon Breakfast, Edge Fitness in Waiuku turned pink. From a boot camp and morning tea, Becs and Shannan’s Pink Ribbon Breakfast has evolved into quite a big event, with stalls, raffles and games. Inspired by Shannan’s mother’s breast cancer journey, as well as one of Becs’ personal training clients, these two ladies are taking the opportunity to provide support and raise awareness for women living with breast cancer.

Becs Vanderklip, personal trainer and owner of Edge Fitness:

I had only just started Edge Fitness when Kathy came and asked me to help her. She was in her early 60s and had had breast cancer. Due to the various medications and treatments, she was struggling with her health and fitness. She had put on weight, was in constant pain down one side of her body where she’d had her lymph nodes removed and as a result was having difficulty sleeping.

In May 2021, we started training together. We started right back at the basics, and slowly worked together at a comfortable speed. When she started, she was unable to do certain exercises, and the light weights were a struggle. We’re further on now and she’s made remarkable progress and has improved her strength so much.

It doesn’t matter how intense the session is, she always shows up with a smile on her face! And I can count on one hand the number of sessions she’s missed – it’s not many. As well as her gains in strength and fitness, her pain has gone down and she can sleep in comfort now.

So when Shannan approached me asking if I would help co-host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, I jumped at the opportunity to rally our community together and raise awareness of this terrible disease.

Being a female and having two daughters, I understand the importance of women’s health, and it is something I am really passionate about on so many levels. So to be able to support women fighting this terrible disease is an absolute privilege and an honour, and to hear the stories of so many women that have been affected is both touching and heartbreaking.

We started with a small pink dress-up-themed boot camp, followed by a morning tea, so we put feelers out there for some donations and sponsorship to be able to include spot prizes and raffles.

Suddenly it skyrocketed into a large and exciting community event. I approached the hall committee where I hold my Edge Fitness boot camps to get it approval to host it there, and local people and businesses jumped on board with some incredible prizes for the raffle and spot prizes.

We then started encouraging small businesses to book a stall and the spaces filled up extremely quickly, with at least 12 stalls.

Tickets cost $25 and that included the boot camp, which is open to all fitness levels, and the morning tea as well as entry to the stalls. 

Shannan, Edge Fitness member:

When the email for Pink Ribbon Breakfast popped up, we all jumped at the idea of hosting one. Breast cancer is a cause close to my heart having had my mum go through her own breast cancer journey. She was diagnosed with stage 3 HER 2 positive breast cancer and after an intense year of chemotherapy, Herceptin and radiation, is thankfully now in remission.

So I genuinely love the chance to give back to this wonderful organisation that helped her so much.