The pure joy of leisure marching

Four of the six marchers of Glengyle Leisure Marching Team – from left is Robyn Cotter, Shiree Edgar, Julie Lamont and Michele Cufflin. Photo: John Borren.

The Glengyle Leisure Marching team won’t let their small team size stop them from strutting their stuff at this year’s Leisure Marching Display day.

This Saturday, August 6, the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre will be flooded with marchers from 21 different teams ready to show some top notch marching displays.

The annual event will see groups coming from across the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Thames, Taupo, Auckland and more.

Among them will be one of the five local Tauranga teams – including Glengyle who have been marching together for 12 years.

No winners

“We have practice for two hours once-a-week on a Thursday night but everybody has run-arounds at home too,” says Glengyle member Glenice Dando. Although teams are dedicated to practice, Leisure marching is strictly non-competitive.

“There’s no awards at the end of the day… we do it purely to enjoy it,” says Glenice. “The motto for leisure marching is fun, fitness and friendship.”

It is this very motto that started up leisure marching more than 25 years ago in Tauranga. “A group of ladies who used to march as youngsters said: ‘Let’s go down to the park and have a march around’, and it sort of just grew from there,” says Glenice. “Now we’ve got all these teams all over New Zealand.”

Traditionally teams are made up of 10 members, however Glengyle has a pocket rocket team of six. “We had a few ladies leave but we’re rebuilding,” says Glenice. They may be few in numbers but Glengyle is still fierce on the marching floor.

Glenice, aged 76, first marched when she was 13 in a team called ‘Demons’. “We probably were!” says Glenice with a laugh. “The people who have marched before still have that little competitive edge but it’s only with yourself and the team.”

Spectacular patterns

On the day, teams have up to five minutes to perform their marching display, says Glenice.

“Each team chooses their own music and makes their own display and the idea is that you form patterns with the number of women you have on the floor.”

The day wraps up with all teams together completing a “maze march” which Glenice describes as “quite a spectacle”.

“We’ve had two years of really broken display days because of covid and it’s lovely to think we can all get back together and enjoy the marching.”

The leisure marching display day will be held Saturday, August 6, at the QE Youth Centre, Tauranga, commencing 11am. All are welcome to watch!


Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter