Marchers strid­ing to na­tional hon­ours

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - CHELSEA MCLAUGH­LIN

Af­ter just two years, women from Tawa and Porirua have marched to na­tional suc­cess.

The In­spire March­ing team was third in the tech­ni­cal drill dis­ci­pline at the re­cent march­ing na­tional cham­pi­onships in Auck­land.

Team mem­ber Jonell Cup­ples said they achieved their goal for the sea­son with their third place.

‘‘We set out with a goal. We wanted to place top three,’’ she said.

‘‘We were all pretty chuffed be­cause that’s what we wanted. We worked our butts off.’’

The team had stepped up its weekly train­ing to twice a week in the lead-up.

The suc­cess had prompted them to think big­ger for next sea­son, she said.

She hoped the team would com­pete in both tech­ni­cal drill and the more freestyle dis­play dis­ci­pline at the North Is­land champs this year and at next year’s na­tion­als.

Tech­ni­cal drill was all about counts and paces, Cup­ples said.

Cup­ples’ team-mate, Me­lanie Mata, said the most im­por­tant part was tim­ing and uni­son from ev­ery mem­ber.

‘‘Ev­ery­one is a num­ber with dif­fer­ent counts, but when you put all your counts to­gether you all come to­gether as a team,’’ she said.

Cup­ples said peo­ple were of­ten con­fused about what the sport en­tailed, and she had even been asked if she was a soldier.

An­other team mem­ber, Re­nee Carter, said she was used to be­wil­dered looks when she told peo­ple about the sport she loves.

‘‘Peo­ple go, ‘What’s that? Do you have those ba­ton things?’, or they ask if we have mu­si­cal in­stru­ments,’’ she said.

‘‘It def­i­nitely is un­usual. A lot of peo­ple haven’t even heard about it.’’

The lack of pub­lic knowl­edge did not de­ter the marchers. Their love of the sport and the re­la­tion­ships it has cre­ated for them make it worth­while.

Mata said they had be­come close friends. ‘‘It’s not only so­cial­is­ing while do­ing the sport. We also so­cialise out­side of it as well. ‘‘It def­i­nitely forms bonds.’’ Cup­ples agreed. ‘‘It’s more of a fam­ily for me. I feel like I can call on my sis­ters.’’

PHOTO: KRISTINA GIL­MOUR

The In­spire March­ing team, from left, Nikki Pren­derville, Krys­tal Huaki, Re­nee Carter, Kirsten Bolton, Shakaiyah Macdonald, Melissa Cun­ning­ham, Jonell Cup­ples, Shar­lene Haronga, Ali­son Pat­ter­son-Knox and Me­lanie Mata.

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