THE first Eastern Cape Majorette and Cheerleaders Association (ECMCA) Provincial competition in 17 years took place last weekend.
Only two schools competed in Lilyfontein and Gonubie Primary School and made their way through the Large Drill, Flag Drill, Non Prop and Throwing Prop sections.
Lilyfontein School won every section and were crowned Champions of Champions and will go on to compete at nationals in KwaZulu-Natal next month.
Gonubie Primary will also compete at nationals as they were second.
Gonubie coaches won the Len Cooper Majorette Award for dedication to the sport, while Lilyfontein squad trainer, Amy Bezuidenhout, was also recognised by the ECMCA, for her perseverance and dedication to rebuilding majorettes in the Eastern Cape.
“I’m an ex-Stirling drummie and I just absolutely love the sport, so when I started teaching at Lilyfontein 10 years ago, I started putting a squad together,” said Bezuidenhout.
Owing to Bezuidenhout’s dedication, Lilyfontein now has four squads and this is their seventh year competing at nationals.
“Being a drummie teaches the girls so many important values. It’s hard work and requires a lot of dedication and discipline,” said Bezuidenhout.
Currently Transkei Primary, Nahoon Primary and Grens Primary are among the few schools in East London who have drum majorette squads.
While they are not yet competing, Bezuidenhout hopes for the sport to grow in East London and for more schools to take part in competitions like it was in the 90s.
“I think many trainers left the Eastern Cape, and there are not many people interested in being trainers as it is a very time consuming sport. It requires a lot of dedication, both from the girls and the trainers,” said Bezuidenhout.
“For the past six years, Lilyfontein has been the only competing school so we were really glad when Gonubie Primary decided to take part. I really do hope our squads spark an interest in more schools and hopefully even high schools will want to get involved.”
When drum majorettes was a thriving sport in the 90s and early 2000s, East London was at the forefront, hosting many national competitions with over 40 schools taking part and boasted national champions in AW Barnes Primary and Stirling High Schools.