One morning while eating breakfast former professional rugby league player Monty Betham came across an article that struck a nerve.
He picked up the phone and made a call. On the other end of the phone was his sister Chante Betham-Spencer. He told his sister that he’d found his calling… the article he’d read was about the alarming rate of New Zealand children that were overweight or obese and the many health risks and difficulties they faced. Monty wanted her buy in and he got it.
The brother and sister duo co-founded the Monty Betham Steps for Life Foundation in 2009 and have taken on the challenge of helping New Zealand youth and their families in the fight against obesity.
Their father Monty Betham Senior was a Professional boxer that did well on the world stage with amazing accomplishments and as a consequence the brother and sister duo were raised in a household where the concept of ‘a healthy body leads to a healthy mind’ was very important.
Monty Betham Jnr is a professional boxer who currently holds the NZ Cruiserweight title and a former professional rugby league footballer. A New Zealand International representative, he played for the NZ Warriors (making his debut in 1999 and played 101 games. He was captain from 2002 – 2004). He also played for the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (Captain) in the Super League.
“I have always been a leader and motivator. After over a decade of playing professional sports and assisting clients I have achieved some outstanding results. I believe working with our youth in the fight against obesity is my true calling. I am passionate about make a change where it is desperately needed. Many of our young people do not fulfil their potential. For some it’s childhood obesity, for others a false start in life. I have found a way that I can make a real difference for these kids. Our children are our future and it’s our responsibility to give them the best opportunity we can.”
Chante Betham-Spencer studied at Waikato University and has a Bachelor of Management Studies. She has worked at Top NZ companies such as Fletcher Building and Carter Holt Harvey within sales and business development roles and now takes on the full time responsibility of running the organisation as CEO.
She also holds a 3rd Dan black belt in karate and teaches at her own dojo in Auckland.
“Growing up in our society is hard enough but for 1 in 5, obesity makes their lives much harder. Inadequate nutrition results in a limited concentration span and learning difficulties. Add to that a lack of fitness levels and you get the worse possible start in life with most having very little self-esteem. We are focused on delivering what we say we will deliver, providing knowledge and resources required for change to be embraced; empowering our youth; ensuring sustainability”