The town is home to dozens of sports clubs, is a regional hub for many sports and regularly hosts national tournaments.
To understand why the Waipa District is the "Home of Champions", take a stroll down Duke St to find 25 plaques honouring the achievements of local stars in the town's Sporting Walk of Fame.
Main sports activities include:
Local men have been playing organised rugby since the Cambridge West (Leamington) rugby club was formed in 1897. It's now based in Carlyle St, Leamington. The Hautapu club was formed in 1903. Since then, the Victoria St club has won Waikato competitions and provided All Blacks including Liam Messam, captain of the New Zealand Sevens. Our local Rugby Super side are the 2012 champions, the Waikato Chiefs.
With more than 600 junior and senior men and women players, the Cambridge Football Club in Vogel St, formed in 1948, is one of the fastest-growing in the Waikato.
The Waikato has more than 40 golf clubs with many within 45 minutes drive of Cambridge, including St Andrews, the Narrows, Lochiel and Ngaruawahia. The nearest is Cambridge Golf Club beside the Waikato River, south of town.
Our local women's netball stars play for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic, winners of the 2012 Australia/New Zealand Championship.
The Cambridge Cricket Club plays at Victoria Square, often described as one of the region's most attractive pitches, while the town also has softball and baseball clubs, mainly catering for junior players.
The Cambridge Racquets Club, established in 1888, has seven floodlit tennis courts and four squash courts. Top New Zealand woman squash player Joelle King hails from Cambridge. The Cambridge Badminton Club has courts in Maclean St.
Lake Karapiro is one of the world's leading rowing courses and has produced local world champion rowers such as Rob Waddell, Mahe Drysdale, James Dallinger and the Evers-Swindell twins, Georgina and Caroline. The lake has also been home to the Karapiro Water Ski Club since 1957 while the Cambridge Swimming Club has been helping swimmers since 1897.
Cambridge's Raceway is one of New Zealand's top venues for day and night harness racing, and greyhound racing. Many horse trainers and breeders are based close to the town and thoroughbred trainers use the training track in Racecourse Rd. The area is also known for eventing, trekking, pony clubs and the Cambridge Polo Club whose grounds are in Lamb St, Leamington.
Cambridge has two lawn bowls clubs - Cambridge and Cambridge Central.
Plans are underway to establish an international-standard velodrome at St Peter's School and to establish a national "Home of Cycling" there for the sport's four disciplines - indoor, road, BMX and mountain biking. Cambridge's Sarah Ulmer became the first New Zealander to win an Olympic Gold for cycling (at Athens in 2004), and is a world record holder. BMX champion Sarah Walker (Olympic Silver at London 2012) trains at Cambridge's international-standard track while Marc Willers, who has topped the world's male rankings, is from Cambridge.
The Cambridge Harriers Club, formed in 1950, organises events between mid-March and mid-October from its base on the corner of Vogel St and Cambridge Rd. The same grounds are used by the Cambridge Junior Athletics Club from October till March. Cambridge resident Nikki Hamblin (silver medal, 1500-metres at the 2010 Commonwealth Games) is one of the country's leading women track stars.
Lake Karapiro has an outdoor pursuits centre, offering a high and low ropes course, abseiling, kayaking, archery and wilderness journeys. Rock climbing is available at Castle Rock Adventure, near Te Awamutu, and you can explore two caves at the Kaniwhaniwha Caves, Pirongia Forest. Local operators also offer the chance to go rafting or paintballing. Mountain bikers can take on the peaks at local reserves such as Pirongia Forest Park or Te Miro Scenic Reserve.
The nearest places to hunt are Pirongia Forest Park, towards Hamilton, where small numbers of pigs, goats and possums can be found, and the Te Miro and Te Tapui Scenic Reserves (east of Cambridge) which contain a few fallow deer. All hunting in these parks is subject to strict conditions and requires permits.
While Lake Karapiro has been used as the venue for World Rowing Championships, you can see international sporting events for rugby, cricket and football at stadia in Hamilton, about 25 minutes drive away.
For up-to-date information on sports events, contact the Cambridge i-SITE Information Centre beside the Town Hall.