Marching for OCE

Heather and David Metcalfe are both in The Lifestylers leisure marching team, David as coach. They represent OCE in the North Island Leisure Marching Display in September. Their team is the only one in NZ compiled entirely of residents from one retirement village. Heather tells their story:

David and I lived in lovely Warkworth for 25 years and, when we realized it would be a good idea to move into a Retirement Village, we looked at the local options. These were limited, so we decided to look further afield and had been attracted by the Sanderson TV ads. We took a trip to Tauranga and visited 10 villages, rating them as we went. Our last appointment was at OCE and, as soon as we drove into Anderley Ave, thought, “This is it”. Mature gardens and trees, well-spaced homes and the feel of the property convinced us that this is where we wanted to be. We have been happily here for four years.

We both have a military background, and not long after we moved in, we were approached by some ladies who had been marchers in the past, to join their intended team, with David as coach.

In NZ there is Competition Marching – mostly for young women, and Leisure Marching – mostly for more mature ladies, often those who had marched in their younger years. Since those early days we have acquired uniforms, added team members, compiled a more complex routine and displayed around the Bay of Plenty and beyond. Leisure marching is not judged so there are no winners, but of course, we all try to do our best when on display. We all agree that the friendship, fitness and fun we derive from this sport is its attraction.

OCE residents and management support the team well, OCE sponsoring the North Island Display which is being held at Tauranga’s Bay Park 18/19 September. We are practicing three times a week so the fitness is certainly happening. Teams from all over the North Island enter though Covid-19 has reduced registration numbers slightly this year. At last year’s Nationals in Hamilton, 800 women gathered. What a sight it was when all the marchers combined into a colourful and joyous celebration maze at the end of the event.

And there was only one male marching. You guessed it! Our coach David Metcalfe carried the banner and accompanied us on the March Past which is traditionally held to open the event; saw us through our display and also joined us in the maze. Go David!

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