Roll Call: Western Province School Marching Drill & Exhibition Association

Programme Notes: CTMT 2010

The Western Province School Marching Drill & Exhibition Association was listed in the Running Order of the CTMT 2010, but did not receive a separate entry in the Programme Notes. However, Mr Saeed Ruiters kindly gave me a handout describing the background of the Drill Squad program, from which I have extracted the information below.

The Drill Squad 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 Marching Drill Programme is an initiative of Portland High School in Mitchell’s Plain; it was introduced by Mr Saeed Ruiters as a Physical Education Task in the Life Orientation Subject in 2007, with the assistance of Mr Dawood Davids, a community member. It culminated in the First Interclass Marching Drill Competition held at Portland High School.

In 2008, the South African Police Service of Mitchell’s Plain was involved in a youth programme called the ‘Twinning Project’; it was decided to incorporate the Marching Drill Programme into that, and to roll this out to as many schools in the area as possible. They were, after all, pursuing the same objectives: improving discipline in the schools, generating pride in the school uniform and in being part of a team, teaching leadership abilities, among other things.

This roll-out proved very successful – so much, in fact, that the British Metropolitan Police and the British High Commissioner from London came to visit Portlands High School to witness the programme first-hand. Duly impressed, the British Embassy in Cape Town pledged their support for the programme, even sponsoring a trophy. This led to the Second Interclass Marching Drill Competition at Portland High School, and the First Interschool Marching Drill Competition held at Westridge Sports Complex.

In 2009, Mr Kader Miller and Mr Nazeem Davids of S.A. Drumline became part of the Marching Drill Programme. They sponsored the bass drums at the participating schools, and also donated a floating trophy for the highest points obtained. The Second Interschool Marching Drill Competition was duly held at Westridge Sports Complex.

In 2010, the South African National Defence Force became involved, when the Portland High School was invited to perform at the Castle in Cape Town. A Mitchell’s Plain Zonal Team (or drill squad) was assembled, and they gave numerous eye-catching performances at the Castle as well as at the various Fan Parks during the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Western Province School Marching Drill & Exhibition Association

Western Province School Marching Drill & Exhibition Association