The South African Majorette and Cheerleading Association (Samca) National Championships will take place at the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve on Saturday June 22 and will run until Saturday June 29.
The last time East London hosted the championships was in 2001.
About 104 teams (3,400 athletes) made up of both majorettes and cheerleaders from all over the country are expected to take part.
The competition will start off with the Cheerleading League. From then on, the rest of the week will be dedicated to majorettes in the President’s and Elite Leagues.
Teams are chosen to compete through the provincial championships. Each province hosts their own championship and the winning teams are then eligible to compete in the nationals.
The championships will be presided over by 55 adjudicators comprising of judges, marshals and scorers from every province.
It is these moderators’ task to evaluate each team’s performance and decide on a final winner. Samca is recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).
Majorettes are undergoing a revival in East London of late. The sport experienced a slump after 2001. The revival was kick-started by former Stirling High majorette and SA Large Drill champion Amy Bezuidenhout.
Bezuidenhout was inspired after attending the 2006 nationals but it wasn’t until 2010 that she was finally able to start putting her plans into action, working with former coach Marc Williams. In 2011, the Lilyfontein Primary School majorette squad began training for the first time.
Since then, the sport has grown in popularity. At the 2019 provincial championships, East London had eight teams competing.