Marchers im­press in Nel­son

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TR­ISH WIL­COX

On March 8 Mata­mata was rep­re­sented in Nel­son at the 22nd Na­tional Leisure March­ing Day by two teams, Kaimai Guards and Kaimai Rangers.

Seventy-five teams, which equates to about 700 women, from through­out New Zealand de­scended on Nel­son over a pe­riod of four days trav­el­ling from the top of North Is­land and as far south as In­ver­cargill.

Women who have over the years got to know each other well and en­joy each other’s com­pany and do­ing what we all love – march­ing.

Some of the women have never marched be­fore and oth­ers have been march­ing from a very young age.

As leisure marchers, we do not march for tro­phies, there are no first, sec­ond or third places; this does not mat­ter to us, we do this for fit­ness, fun and fel­low­ship, and this is ev­i­dent when we all meet up in dif­fer­ent parts of New Zealand.

On the Fri­day evening we gath­ered on the main street of Nel­son and marched through the town to the amaze­ment of the people who had gath­ered to watch.

Amid the cheer­ing and clap­ping we felt very proud to be there and marched up to the steps of the cathe­dral where we were wel­comed by a kapa haka group, and the mayor and people of Nel­son.

It was a mag­nif­i­cent sight to see 75 teams in full uni­form march­ing with pride.

What a won­der­ful weekend in a truly beau­ti­ful town.

The towns­peo­ple wel­comed us all and great to be able to pro­mote our in­ter­est.

On Satur­day we all as­sem­bled at the Trafal­gar rugby grounds and pa­raded in front of sup­port­ers and lo­cals who turned out to see what we were all about.

As I was not able to join in with my team it was an in­ter­est­ing day, spent lis­ten­ing to the com­ments about our march­ing and how many did not know this was such a pop­u­lar in­ter­est.

Teams stepped up to ex­e­cute their five-minute dis­play, and their in­tri­cate and snappy move­ments wowed the crowd, de­serv­ing of the clap­ping and cheer­ing that fol­lowed.

The day was beau­ti­ful and hot, and we en­joyed the out­door venue.

Then as quickly as it be­gan, it was all over, back to earth on Sun­day as we all re­turned to our home towns and back to more prac­tis­ing for the next big dis­play day, in Waitara on Septem­ber 20.

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