Hokonui marchers up with the best

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Best foot...Members of the Hokonui under-12 grade marching team (from left) Molly Cook (13), Lily Morgan (11), Aaliyah Bartlett (13), Aiyana Bartlett (9), Mattie McBride (8), Alexiss McDowell (12) and Kaeley Young (13, partially obscured) perform at the New Zealand Marching Championships held at the More FM arena, Edgar Centre, Dunedin last week. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON

At the start of the season the Hokonui under-12s were struggling for numbers, but at the end the team finished third in the national championships.

The championships were held in Dunedin last week.

Coach Levana Bartlett said at the start of the season the team struggled to get the seven members needed for a team.

“We finally got our seventh girl and then just went for it,” Bartlett said.

“We only had seven for the season.”

Once the team was finalised “we were off”.

“We didn’t look back.”

The team was a mixture of experience.

“The youngest is 8.”

On the first day of the competition 16 teams vied for a top-six place.

Those that were successful took part in the championship final the next day.

In the final the team finished third in the technical section and fourth in the display to give it an overall third place.

Bartlett was very pleased with the result.

“It was amazing.

“They far exceeded my expectations, that’s for sure.

“To achieve that placing at nationals was definitely quite an achievement.”

Team members enjoyed each other’s company which was one reason why they had done so well.

“They gel really well off the field and I think that is what brings them together on the field.

“They are very positive, willing-to-achieve young ladies.”