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Source: Sports New Zealand

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Marching Southland hear their participants’ voice

18 July 2019

A Southland sports organisation has been so thrilled with the results from a workshop held to gauge the voice of its participants, that it has decided to consult further with its participants on some initiatives.

After attending a couple of workshops run by the Sport Southland Community Sport team on the Insights approach and tools to gauge participants’ voice, Marching Southland held a workshop with young marchers in May. The aim of this session was to gather insights on why they marched, why they stayed in marching, and why they left.

Suggestions and feedback from the sessions were pulled together into a report of recommendations, some of which were then presented at the Marching Southland AGM earlier this month.

Marching Southland promotions publicity officer Tania Hill said two recommendations from the original workshop were taken to the AGM on July 3 – one suggesting changes to the medals and trophies system, and one based around uniforms.

Uniforms, and the necessity of wearing them for long competition days, was one of the main pieces of feedback given at the original session – the marchers would rather not wear their full competition uniforms for the entire day.

After discussions about the uniforms at the AGM, the committee decided to put the idea of allowing marchers to wear their travel gear for awards presentations out to the rest of the Southland marching clubs for further feedback, with the idea of implementing the change for the coming season.

The new season starts in November.

“For us, it’s a step forward into a little bit of change and longevity for the girls.”

Since the participant workshop, Marching Southland was also looking at the marchers’ wellbeing from a more holistic perspective. They are not only looking at how to adapt the sport to meet the social and emotional needs of the participants, but also looking at how can they improve their programme to ensure the physical wellbeing of these young women is well looked after. For next season they are looking at bringing in a trained person to take marchers through a marching-specific strength and conditioning programme to reduce any potential risks of injuries, Tania said.

Sport Southland General Manager Luciana Garcia said it was fantastic to see Marching Southland not only valuing the voice of the young marchers, but also taking steps to make changes based on their participants’ feedback.

MIL OSI