Red River and Downeville primary schools walked away as the winners of this year’s marching competition.
The Manenberg Safe Schools Cluster, Western Province Marching Association (WPMA), and Schools Enrichment Marching Competition took place at Red River Primary School in Manenberg on Saturday November 20.
Eleven schools participated in the competition. They were judged on dress code, grand march past, and exhibition.
Red River Primary School walked away as the overall winners of Section A. Parkfields Primary took second place and Rio Grande Primary third.
Downeville Primary School, which competed for the first time, took first place as the overall winners of Section B, followed by Saambou Primary in second place and AZ Berman Primary School in third.
Tjommies Community Cadets won the Community Cadets section followed by the Hanover Park Community Cadets and then the New Horizon Community Cadets.
The chairwoman of the WPMA for primary schools, Delia Van Schalkwyk, said that it was important to host the competition to keep children occupied and off the streets while exploring their talents, teaching them discipline, skills, leadership, and confidence.
The cadet school gave pupils a sense of belonging, and those who were perhaps not academically strong felt worthy when they displayed excellent talent in the marching squads, she said.
“We want to show the community what the children are able to do. Not everyone’s talents are being nurtured in their homes, so we want to give them that.”
Red River Primary School’s marching band manager, Cheryl Delilley, said that the team had started in 2019. There are more than 30 children in the band’s A team and they started forming a B team recently.
The team was very proud and excited about their win, she said.
“We didn’t think that we’ll win exhibition as well, but we won all three categories. This has set a standard for us, and we will strive to continue such a good win.”
The deputy principal of Downeville Primary School and its drill squad manager, Stephen Taylor, said he was thrilled with the team’s win.
“We are totally excited about this win. We’ve worked very hard to get this far. I fetched our coaches every day from Hanover Park and brought them to Manenberg to train our pupils from May this year. I am so glad that I did that because look at this great achievement. I take my hat off to my coaches and pupils.”