There is a new man looking after the ‘grass roots’ of Coleraine Rugby Football and Cricket Club and his work is there for everyone to see.
Coleraine man Chris Hogg has recently taken over duties as grounds keeper at the club and he is relishing the new challenges of his role.
He is bringing many years of experience to the job and the benefits are clear to see at the club.
Chris has been working tirelessly since the summer, starting with general clearing up and extending to in-depth grounds development and maintenance – and it is all starting to pay off.
Members and visitors have been complimentary about the appearance of the grounds and players are enjoying the high standard of preparation of the pitches.
Chris brings years of experience to the job. He said: “I havebeen involved in horticulture for 40 years and have worked in all aspects of ground maintenance, green keeping and general horticulture, at operative and managerial levels.
“I have spent a lot of time in public service and most recently was Head of Parks at Larne Council but I am now enjoying my new roles as a grounds keeper and a horticultural consultant.
“After so long away from the land, it’s good to get back working on the ground again, working at the grass roots.
“I’m now enjoying a range and variety of activities rather than the same thing day after day.
“I am also training candidates in amenity horticulture and sports field maintenance so my new post gives me the opportunity to practice what I preach.”
People have been noticing the changes around the pitches and the grounds and it is all down to the enthusiasm of one man. Chris said: “Personally, I think the grounds at the club are looking better already.
“I am applying good sports field maintenance ethics to the grounds and hopefully we will start to see the effects of what we are doing.
“Pitches will be more playable and that meansfewer cancellations, more matches and more usage over the winter months.”
And it’s not just rugby that Chris has in his sights. “I am already looking forward to the spring and to that end we have carried out end of season renovations to the cricket square. We have been spiking and over-seeding which will help provide thicker sward and an all round hard wearing surface with good colour.
“Now I am looking forward to seeing the benefits of that work at the start of the cricket season, in the spring.”
Coleraine Rugby Football and Cricket Club provide sporting opportunities, training and competition, for children, young people and adults in rugby, cricket and hockey, as well as thriving social opportunities for members and guests.
New members, across the range of sports, are welcome from every part of the community – just call into the club for more information.