Ladies of leisure

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

While their mil­i­tary- in­spired garb and reg­i­mented move­ments evoke the bat­tle­field, the hun­dreds of leisure marchers de­scend­ing on Porirua this week­end are sur­pris­ingly non­com­pet­i­tive.

Porirua’s leisure march­ing team, the Kapi-Mana In­steps, will host 51 teams from throughout the North Is­land for a day of march­ing dis­plays chore­ographed to tra­di­tional brass band mu­sic.

While each team strives to do their best and im­press the crowds dur­ing their five-minute rou­tines, there are no prizes or win­ners in the sport, mem­ber Jan Alle­man said. ‘‘That’s what makes it so good,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s to­tally non-com­pet­i­tive, so at the end of the day there’s no medals, and ev­ery team goes out to have fun and do their best.’’

Leisure march­ing is open only to the over-40s, and is dom­i­nated by women marchers, many of whom first took up march­ing when it was a pop­u­lar sport in the 1950s and 1960s, Mrs Alle­man said. The sport’s motto is ‘‘fun, fit­ness and friend­ship’’.

Mrs Alle­man is a found­ing mem­ber of the 10-strong KapiMana In­steps, who formed in 1993 af­ter a Close Up tele­vi­sion ar­ti­cle fea­tured the sport, which was then new to New Zealand.

Kapi-Mana In­steps has mem- bers aged 45 to 70, and while en­joy­ing your­self is a key aim of the sport, it takes com­mit­ment. The In­steps train for two hours a week, and fre­quently en­ter dis­play days around the coun­try.

‘‘Al­though no-one would dis­agree that march­ing is both a phys­i­cal and men­tal dis­ci­pline, we all en­joy it im­mensely,’’ Mrs Alle­man said.

This Satur­day there is an an all-teams ‘‘maze march’’. They will at­tend an af­ter- party dressed as nurs­ery rhyme char­ac­ters.

North Is­land Leisure March­ing Dis­play Day, Satur­day, Septem­ber 29, 8.30am to 3.30pm at Te Rau­paraha Arena, free en­try.

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