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Fierce Competition At Sandhurst's Pace Sticking Competition

“There’s quite a lot of things that you’ve got to think about. It’s not just marching up and down with a stick..."

Teams from all over the world descended on the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst today for the annual All Arms and International Pace Sticking Competition.

A total of 19 teams, including four international teams from Pakistan, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan, competed in different categories for the title of International Pace Sticking Team or the prestigious Individual Pace Sticking Champion.

There were also seven from the British Army including 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, Army Training Centre Pirbright, Honourable Artillery Company, 1st Battalion Scots Guards and RMAS to name a few.

The competition took place on the parade square in front of the steps of Old College. Each of the teams consisted of four members, one Driver who delivers the words of command and three team members.

Over the course of the competition, the teams marched in slow and quick time whilst alternating turning the stick with the left or right hand.

The objective of the pace stick drill is to provide uniformity in the use of a stick and a high standard of steadiness and cohesion amongst the instructors.   

There’s a lot to look out for which can trip you up, when you’re pace sticking as Lance Sergeant Anthony Jordan, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, explained: “The wind – the wind is blowing quite strong today. It’s summertime – you get sweaty hands, clammy hands, the stick’s slipping all over the place.

“There’s quite a lot of things that you’ve got to think about. It’s not just marching up and down with a stick.”