Crag’s school dominate contest
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.
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.