Marchers impress in Nelson
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.