Crag’s school do­mi­na­te con­test

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Letters | Briewe - Yo­lan­de S­tan­der

Af­ter on­ly a­bout two days’ worth of for­mal com­pe­ti­ti­on trai­ning, the Crags P­ri­ma­ry School drill te­am do­mi­na­ted at their first ma­jor com­pe­ti­ti­on in the We­stern Ca­pe.

The Gra­de 7s par­ti­ci­pa­ted in a Mit­chell’s Plain drill com­pe­ti­ti­on – hos­ted by Har­ves­ter P­ri­ma­ry School – on Sa­tur­day 23 Sep­tem­ber and wal­ked a­way with fi­ve trophies. And t­his they did with on­ly a few hours of sleep as they had to dri­ve through the nig­ht from P­let­ten­berg Bay to Ca­pe Town to ma­ke it in ti­me for the com­pe­ti­ti­on.

Coor­di­na­tor of the D­ril­ling A­gainst Cri­me and Youth Risk pro­gram­me Y­vet­te Wil­schut said the young­sters flew the P­let­ten­berg Bay flag high and ma­na­ged to se­cu­re a first pla­ce in the exhi­bi­ti­on ca­te­go­ry w­he­re they we­re jud­ged on their drill se­quen­ce. They com­pe­ted a­gainst eig­ht ot­her schools.

They al­so won se­cond pla­ce o­ver­all, se­cond in the grand march ca­te­go­ry, a­not­her se­cond in the drum ma­jor ca­te­go­ry and we­re thi­rd be­st dres­sed out of all the schools that par­ti­ci­pa­ted.

“We are in­cre­di­bly proud of the­se young­sters. They not on­ly sho­wed dis­ci­pli­ne, but g­rit, per­se­ver­an­ce and a wil­ling­ness to work hard,” Wil­schut said.

Drill mar­ching was in­tro­du­ced at the school in Ja­nu­a­ry t­his y­e­ar in an at­tempt to not on­ly in­stil dis­ci­pli­ne a­mong the young­sters but to use it as a tool to fig­ht cri­me.

To pre­pa­re for the com­pe­ti­ti­on, drill ve­te­ran Da­wood Da­vids, who star­ted the dis­ci­pli­ne in schools a de­ca­de ago to help keep young­sters on the straig­ht and nar­row, shared his kno­w­led­ge with the Crags school two weeks be­fo­re the com­pe­ti­ti­on. The child­ren vo­lun­ta­ri­ly wor­ked a full Sa­tur­day and Sun­day.

‘Li­ving to drill’

“The com­pe­ti­ti­on me­ant so much to the child­ren and so did their per­for­man­ce. It ma­de them re­a­li­se that they are ca­pa­ble of mo­re than they be­lie­ve they are. The sen­se of pri­de, a­chie­vement and joy was very cle­ar on their fa­ces. They now li­ve to drill. I feel they ar­ri­ved unkno­wn and left un­f­or­get­ta­ble.”

She ad­ded that it al­so taug­ht them per­se­ver­an­ce. “We left at mid­nig­ht on F­ri­day nig­ht, star­ted the com­pe­ti­ti­on at 08:30 and re­tur­ned to P­lett by 23:00 on the sa­me day.”

Wil­schut said they al­so practi­sed ex­ten­si­ve­ly. “They won first in the exhi­bi­ti­on ca­te­go­ry – not sur­pri­singly, as they practi­sed their litt­le socks off. Spea­king of socks, they look­ed fan­tas­tic. E­ven their socks ma­t­ched.”

Wil­schut ad­ded that t­his had been an “in­cre­di­ble jour­ney” so far. “I can highly re­com­mend drill to all our lo­cal schools. A­nyo­ne can be part of it as you just need guts, de­ter­mi­na­ti­on, com­mit­ment and the lo­ve of the art or sport.”

The te­am than­ked the P­let­ten­berg Bay po­li­ce – who play­ed a ma­jor ro­le in get­ting the i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve off the ground, Da­vids, Har­ves­ter P­ri­ma­ry, spon­sors and vo­lun­teers.

“C­re­dit must be gi­ven to Sec­tor 3 ma­na­ger Ser­ge­ant By­ron de Vos, sta­ti­on com­mis­si­o­ner Co­lo­nel No­lan Mi­cha­els for their com­mit­ment and be­lief in the pro­ject as well as Wor­king on Fi­re and the child­ren them­sel­ves. To­get­her we can ma­ke a dif­fe­ren­ce.”

On 14 Oc­to­ber the We­stern Ca­pe e­du­ca­ti­on de­part­ment will be hos­ting a ma­jor drill com­pe­ti­ti­on in Ca­pe Town, and the Crags squad will be the­re to re­pre­sent Bi­tou on­ce a­gain.

P­ho­to: Sup­p­lied

All their hard work sin­ce Ja­nu­a­ry has paid off for the Crags P­ri­ma­ry School drill te­am w­hen they ma­na­ged to win fi­ve trophies in a Ca­pe Town drill com­pe­ti­ti­on re­cent­ly.

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