About 60 schools are set to compete in the Western Cape Provincial Marching Federation’s annual regional competition on Saturday 7 December at Athlone Stadium. Spectators, parents and residents from across the Cape are encouraged to attend and support the youth.The schools and community teams usually hail from in and around Cape Town but this year the federation expanded its reach to instil the values of discipline and accountability in more children.Previously there were only 34 teams competing.“We’ve gone now into the rural areas also – Bredasdorp, the Karoo, Overberg, West Coast, Worcester and so on. Now during this annual competition, we bring all the schools to compete,” said Roy Prinsloo, an executive member of the federation.The children will compete in several categories to find the best high school, primary school and community teams. Roy explained: “There’s the grand march pass, which must be regimented like the army does. So the judge will make sure everyone is in unison; that everyone’s arms move and go up at the same time, for example. The next one we have is the drum major competition, where they find the best drum major who leads the team. “And then there’s best dressed; we inspect to see if they’re neat and clean and make sure no buttons are broken, and so on. The final category is the exhibition where each of the teams shows their unique team choreography.” Roy, along with Nick Smit, manage Fairmount Secondary School’s award-winning marching band.Smit said, despite the rapidly growing number of teams taking part in the sport, the main problem is still funding.While their school may have a partnership with Norwegian funders, who sponsor their learners’ fees and partially support the marching band, other teams do not have the same financial support and more is needed to assist the sport to grow.The federation calls on anyone who can provide help to support their local marching bands and to develop these children into accountable and responsible young people.Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more or to support.