Militaires on a mission to march to top


The Hokonui Militaires are Gore’s only competitive marching team who have been marching together for four seasons.
The team is made up of 10 Gore girls under the age of 12 and is coached by Tracy McDonald and Toni Grumball.
At each competition the girls march three routines — the first is a review and inspection, the second is a technical march and the third is a display march.
The team gets together in June to begin
year; competitions start in October and run through to March.
To compete, the side travels to Invercargill every Sunday to take part in the Southland Marching Association competitions.
The 2015-16 marching season was one of great success for the girls.
Team manager Mel Cupit said the team travelled to Rangiora for the South Island Championships at the beginning of December and managed to gain second place.
‘‘This result really spurred the girls on to keep focused and to continue working hard,’’ Cupit said.
Cupit said it was from here the girls set themselves the goal of reaching the top four in the New Zealand Championships to be held in Auckland in March.
‘‘The girls gave it their all and were rewarded by getting second place out of all the New Zealand teams. They were amazing,’’ she said.
She said this was the best placing out of any Southland teams across all levels and was enough to see them win the Southland Team of the Year award.
It was the first time a Southland team has finished in the top three at the championships since the 1990s.
Cupit said marching was a sport that needed discipline, resilience, strength, stamina and fitness.
‘‘The girls each have their own counts to memorise and techniques to master with military precision — but at the same time working together as a team so that every movement flows as one,’’ she said.
She said marching was a minority sport but they were appreciative of the support and recognition from the Gore community.
Training for the season has just begun, with South Island Championships in Nelson this year and New Zealand Championships in Invercargill.
‘‘We truly believe this team of girls have it in them to be the number one team in New Zealand.
‘‘They have the experience, passion and drive and being in Invercargill they will have home advantage, too.’’latest Running Sneakersnike