School drill teams put on a show

2019-09-24 06:01
Sibelius High School’s drill team practices before the start of the competition.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Sibelius High School’s drill team practices before the start of the competition.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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The annual drill competition hosted by Steenberg police station’s social crime prevention unit (SCPU) was certainly something to see.

The competition saw eight school teams competing in various categories to show their skills.

The teams who participated – some with years of experience and others with very little – were Delta Primary School, Harmony Primary School, Square Hill Primary School, Levana Primary School, Thomas Wildschutt Senior Primary, Blouvlei Primary School for learners with special education needs, Sibelius High School and Lavender Hill High School.

Const Lugmaan Adams of Steenberg police’s SCPU organised the event in conjunction with Steenberg community policing forum (CPF) and explained his intended aims for the competition. “It’s part of our social crime prevention plan. We do this every year. During the last week of school, schools have lots of children who leave and don’t come back, so we try to keep them busy in this last week and keep them going to school,” said Adams.

He says drills teach the children discipline and keeps them off the streets.

Delta Primary School’s drill team is made up of learners aged 10 to 13. They have been participating in the competition and taking part in the sport for more than four years.

“For this competition, we had three weeks of training. We started with the new ones, from basics, so it was quite a challenge,” said Connor Koopman, drill team coach at the school.

“Their progress has been quite good. I’m quite surprised they reached the level that I wanted them to be at,” he added.

There were awards for the best high schools and primary schools, and additional awards for best march, best dressed, best exhibition and best drummers, to name a few.

The overall winner of the competition in the high schools’ category was Sibelius High School, with Lavender Hill High School in second place. In the junior schools’ category, Levana Primary School took first place, with Delta Primary coming in at a close second.

Steenberg CPF’s Marcelle Williams concluded the festivities. He said: “You need to stay disciplined, focus on your education, study and progress. Don’t be satisfied with the minimum. At school, try your best so that you can study further. You need an education to join the police, navy, army or air force.” 

He added that learners have the opportunity to be seen and recruited into the police forces through the drills competitions.

The schools’ competition was a precursor to the Mitchell’s Plain Saps Marching and Drill Competition in October, aimed at finding teams suitable to represent the district on a larger scale.

Hilton Palanyandi, principal at Delta Primary School, said his hopes for the future of the competition was that it would one day turn into a fully-fledged festival where the entire community could see the talents of the learners at the local schools in a festive environment.

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