The Drill Squad of the Western Province Schools Marching Drill and Exhibition Association perform at the Castle of Good Hope

On Monday, 03 October 2011, visitors to the Castle of Good Hope who had come from near and far, were in for a surprise treat. The announcer spoke over the p.a. system:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to the performance of the Western Province Schools Marching Drill and Exhibition Association. …

Let’s give them a warm welcome!”

These youngsters look so smart and dashing in their matching uniforms

Before they start with their performance, can I tell you a bit about the history of the marching drill program that is run by the WP SMDEA?

  • It was introduced as a life orientation activity (a physical education task) by Ms Lyrice Trussell of the Metro South Education Department and Mr Saeed Ruiters of Portland High School in Mitchell’s Plain.
  • It was piloted by Portland HS with overwhelming success, and subsequently rolled out to all schools in the district via a life orientation workshop and cluster meeting in 2007. This program is thus not an extra-mural or after-school voluntary activity, but it is incorporated into the weekly school timetable as a physical education class.
  • Educators assess learners on their performance, leadership skills, group work and correct attire, and learners receive year marks for their life orientation portfolio. The schools use the services of community members who are knowledgeable about marching drill in order to teach these skills.
  • It is an effective way of improving discipline at schools, and instilling pride in the school and its uniform. Individuals are encouraged to develop leadership abilities, and the squads learn how to follow instructions from squad leaders – it is a two-way process.
  • The program fosters a sense of self-worth, achievement, teamwork, pride and discipline. The vision of the WP SMDEA is that all learners who are exposed to the marching drill program will develop into model citizens, positive role models and future leaders.

Marching in perfect alignment

And now, get ready for a thrilling performance!

Thumpety-thumpety rattatat-rattatat – thumpety-thumpety rattatat-rattatatTHUMPETY-THUMPETY RATTATAT-RATTATAT — The rhythmic sound of the drums became louder and louder, as the boys and girls of the WP SMDEA Drill Squad strode through the beautiful old archway into the front arena of the Castle.

All eyes turned to watch the neatly attired Drill Squad in their black pants, white shirts, shiny blue vests and blue peaked caps, as they marched past in close formation.

Every single one of them must do their best to ensure the smooth functioning of the team

They were a familiar sight at the Castle, having performed here during the 2010 Soccer World Cup in June-July 2010, as well as during the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2010 last November.  This group is made up of learners from various schools around the Western Cape, including primary schools and high schools in Mitchell’s Plain, and high schools in Manenberg, Beaufort West and the Strand. The best students from the various drill squads come together to make up this Drill Squad.

The relentlessly thumping beats of the drums, which thundered and reverberated all around the massive Castle walls, ensured that the youngsters maintained a cracking pace throughout their routine, earning them well-deserved applause.

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13 thoughts on “The Drill Squad of the Western Province Schools Marching Drill and Exhibition Association perform at the Castle of Good Hope

  1. a wonderful program that:
    “fosters a sense of self-worth, achievement, teamwork, pride and discipline”.
    is impressive. As we can see from your photos, the kids stood proudly in their uniforms and moved in perfect unison.

  2. yes Reggie indeed alot of hard word…i feel so proud of myself,to think that i was ones part of that team..but i see there is alot of new faces

    • Hi Bianca – thank you for leaving a comment, I’m so pleased you found these photos. Your drill squad really was fantastic. I hope I’ll see them performing again sometime!

  3. Itz Bianca ! If u c I did comment b4 I’m very disappointed to c dat they only mention Mr Saeed Ruiters name..my sir Mr S.Lewis was also apart of the team ! We couldn’t hv done it without him..

  4. I miss the squad of 2010/11 especially Mondie (Drum major) year of great wonders it was at the military tattoo…it was an experience of a life time I’ll never forget! as a pupil who attended at Princeton High, being chosen to represent my school, province, was indeed a wonderful experience. I now have started my own organization implementing Drilling as an L.O mural activity, working with governmental delegates in Local schools. A coordinator in the Nyanga Cluster and am proud to say, Its all thanks to the Western Province Team!!! Mr. Ruiters, Mr Lewis, Mr Dauit..and staff/ technical team.

    • Hello Fikile – I am pleased to hear the enthusiasm in your voice, and thrilled that you and your organization are taking drilling into schools in your own neighbourhood. The sense of pride and achievement, and the discipline, camaraderie and teamwork instilled in those youngsters was clear to see when they performed at the Tattoo and other events. I wish you all the best!

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