District Mail

Drum­mies show they still have it

- Tas­min Cupido Sports · South Africa

As with most sport­ing codes across the globe, the drum ma­jorette sea­son was dealt a heavy blow by the Covid19 pan­demic. But this hasn’t halted drum­mies from a lo­cal school to con­tinue prac­tis­ing the sport they so dearly love.

The de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­main in tip­top shape and breath­tak­ing skills of three drum ma­jorettes of Hot­ten­tot­sHol­land High School led to their fin­ish­ing in podium places of a na­tion­wide on­line com­pe­ti­tion, de­spite con­ced­ing lock­down and a lack of their nor­mal rig­or­ous train­ing regime had left them­some­what rusty.

Si­b­lings Amy and Jamy Mal­gas and their team­mate Kéahna Jansen flew the flag for the school in the Drum­mie On­line Lock­down Tour­na­ment, ce­ment­ing their place as some of the top ath­letes in their craft in the coun­try. Amy clinched top spot in the solo mace cat­e­gory, sec­ond place in solo flags and third in the solo ba­ton di­vi­sion, while her sis­ter Jamy won the non-prop/pom solo cat­e­gory. Mean­while. Kéahna placed fourth in both the solo flags and non-prop/pom di­vi­sions, and sixth for her mace solo.

For 18-year-old Amy, who is the leader and cap­tain of the HHH drum­mies team, the com­pe­ti­tion pre­sented her with the chance to have fun and en­joy the sport she loves one last time, as this is her last year of high school. She has been an avid drum ma­jorette for the last 12 years and was in­stan­ta­neously drawn to the sport the first time she saw girls go­ing their drills.

“Drum­mies taught me how to be punc­tual, ded­i­cated and hard work­ing,” she shared. “It has given me the op­por­tu­nity to travel and see places I could only dream of. The sport al­lowed me to grow and be more con­fi­dent in what­ever I do, so I will for­ever be grate­ful for all that it of­fered me.”

Amy de­scribed her par­tic­i­pa­tion and even­tual out­come of the tour­na­ment as a bless­ing and hon­our. “There were so many participan­ts who took on the chal­lenge,” she said. “Be­ing able to rep­re­sent my team and school on this plat­form, dur­ing this time, is a true bless­ing.”

Kéahna, who is a sub-leader of the HHH team, was sur­prised her per­for­mance had won her a place in the fi­nal round. She ini­tially also en­tered the tour­na­ment for a fun and en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence. “I am very pas­sion­ate about the sport, so to make it this far makes me very proud of my progress and fu­ture in the sport,” the Grade 11 learner re­lated.

“Drum­mies has taught me dis­ci­pline, el­e­gance and poise, and I have learnt the im­por­tance of team­work. I have made friends whom I can call my sis­ters and it also keeps you phys­i­cally fit and strong.”

The 16-year-old has been ply­ing her trade as a drum­mie for the past 11 years and was par­tic­u­larly en­thralled by the chal­lenge of test­ing her stamina and push­ing her­self to im­prove through her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion. “It gave me the op­por­tu­nity to test my abil­i­ties and as­cer­tain just how far I am able to push my­self in my pur­suit to suc­cess.”

The on­line com­pe­ti­tion, launched in June, came much to the re­lief of drum­mies across South Africa as a means to mo­ti­vate youths to carry on their train­ing at home amid lock­down reg­u­la­tions. It was launched by drum ma­jorette en­thu­si­asts and si­b­lings

Ler­ato and Palesa Chele who, as coaches, had first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the neg­a­tive ef­fects the lock­down had on their ath­letes.

“Ath­letes found them­selves con­fined to their homes, without any op­tion of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the com­pet­i­tive sphere,” Ler­ato re­lated. “Their psycho-so­cial and men­tal state was the core con­cern for the coaches in­volved. This is why it was im­por­tant for us to push through all the chal­lenges we faced, to en­sure that the com­pe­ti­tion comes into fruition and is a suc­cess.”

She added that it was de­vised as a non-profit ini­tia­tive to up­lift drum­mies, keep them men­tally, cre­atively and phys­i­cally stim­u­lated, cre­ate a learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­nity, cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop judg­ing and coach­ing, pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for ter­tiary drum­mies to com­pete in this sport once more, and foster sports­man­ship, sup­port and com­radery among ath­letes, coaches, par­ents and sup­port­ers.

“The tim­ing of the tour­na­ment was also key as the ath­letes would’ve, un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, been on the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion field. The tour­na­ment gave the ath­letes the op­por­tu­nity to vir­tu­ally com­pete with their fel­low sportswome­n.”

Drum­mies of all ages and from eight prov­inces sub­mit­ted a to­tal of 453 videos of no more than 90 sec­onds for ad­ju­di­ca­tion, with the com­pe­ti­tion di­vided into two heats – the semi-fi­nals and fi­nals. The first round was held over four con­sec­u­tive Satur­days from 20 June to 11 July, fol­lowed by the fi­nal round on Satur­day 25 July.

The ath­letes com­peted in three di­vi­sions – pri­mary, high and ter­tiary – and in four drum­mie cat­e­gories, namely non-prop/pom, flags, ba­ton and mace. What’s more it aimed to be all-in­clu­sive, so ath­letes not in pos­ses­sion of a cor­rect prop could use a safe, sim­i­lar house­hold item to per­form their mes­meris­ing moves.

Each par­tic­i­pant was awarded mem­o­ra­bilia to com­mem­o­rate their re­silience dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time, Ler­ato pointed out, while all fi­nal­ists were awarded cer­tifi­cates. Those who fin­ished in the top three re­ceived medals, while the drum­mie who claimed the top podium spot in the var­i­ous cat­e­gories was awarded ei­ther a high flyer mace or ba­ton spon­sored by Har­riLabs, Tony’s Mace­land and Sonja Bezuiden­hout.

 ??  ?? HHH drum­mies Amy Mal­gas (leader), Jamy Mal­gas and Kéahna Jansen (sub-leader) claimed top spots in the Drum­mie On­line Lock­down Tour­na­ment.
HHH drum­mies Amy Mal­gas (leader), Jamy Mal­gas and Kéahna Jansen (sub-leader) claimed top spots in the Drum­mie On­line Lock­down Tour­na­ment.
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