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The Marching Maureens Move to Music

The Marching Maureens Move to Music

When Maureen Braidford left her Arvida Te Puna Waiora community happy hour on night, Maureen’s husband Jim told their fellow neighbour, Maureen Hawkins, that his wife was off to a session of her leisure marching hobby.

This intrigued Maureen Hawkins and she says the next week she joined the other Maureen for Northland Tui Leisure Marching. “That first time I was on the end of the line and quickly realised I had a lot to learn. 15 that way, 5 that way, 7 that way and finally I took it in stages and slowly it all started to click.”

Two years on the two Arvida Te Puna Waiora villa residents in their 70s are now affectionally known as M1 (Maureen Braidford) and M2 (Maureen Hawkins). They both have marching in common and really enjoy the regular Thursday afternoon practices at Kerikeri Primary School Hall and marching weekends away.

“There’s the off steps, left turns, right turns, about turns. Leisure marching is all about technique and we have an order of numbers we remember. There’s lots of crossing each other and moving different ways. It needs to be very precise to work,” says M1.

The group are known for their classic marching with adapted music to a tango beat that always begins with a tui bird call.

M1 explains it’s down to good fundraising that supports the group to continue on, they even made their own impressive uniforms.

“Because busbys are very expensive we made them ourselves and the white jackets were chef’s jackets with an added sash down the back.”

With a group motto of ‘fun, friendship and fitness’, M2 believes her fitness has improved overtime.

“Marching has made me straighten up and given me better posture which has been a great bonus”.

They both agree it doesn’t matter what age you are to give a new hobby a go, especially with new friends by your side.

With villas available now at Te Puna Waiora community, you too can join the Maureens who march. Click here for more information.

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