His­toric day for rugby club

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT -

LAST Satur­day marked a spe­cial day in the 128 year his­tory of Sligo RFC, as Mayor Ros­aleen O’Grady and Club Pres­i­dent Des Cos­grove cut the rib­bon to of­fi­cially open the state-of-the-art, 4G ar­ti­fi­cial, grass pitch and the up­graded, sec­ond, grass pitch.

They were led in the cer­e­mony by Chair­man Niall Gray and joined by Con­nacht IRFU rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kevin Di­neen, lo­cal coun­cil­lors Marie Casserly, Tony Mc Loughlin and Marc MacSharry, and mem­bers of the Ju­ve­nile and Youth sec­tions.

Fr Niall Ah­ern blessed the new pitches and Rory Raftery mem­ber of the De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee spoke of the im­por­tance of the fi­nan­cial sup­port of the mem­bers, the com­mu­nity, the Sligo busi­ness com­mu­nity and of the Sports Cap­i­tal pro­gramme in pro­vid­ing fund­ing to make the project a re­al­ity.

It is hard to be­lieve that it was only three years ago that a four­phase plan was put into ac­tion to im­prove the fa­cil­i­ties at Hamil­ton Park and meet the grow­ing de- mands of its 20 teams and 450 play­ing mem­bers.

Since then, work has been car­ried out in re­la­tion to ex­ter­nal fa­cil­i­ties, such as se­cur­ing the grounds, fenc­ing, in­ter­nal road/ path works and re-de­vel­op­ment of the gate­way.

Sub­stan­tial Club­house re­pairs and ren­o­va­tions with the as­sis­tance of Sligo Leader Part­ner­ship through the Tus pro­gramme.

Add to that the new, all-weather, train­ing pitch, new grass pitch, lighting, dugouts and car park and you will have a clear pic­ture of how the club has de­vel­oped over the past few years.

The fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of fa­cil­i­ties will also ex­tend to the Club­house, re­de­vel­op­ment of the main grass pitch and pro­posed ex­ten­sion to the stand fa­cil­ity, to dou­ble its ca­pac­ity.

All this de­vel­op­ment is due to the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of the De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, along with com­mit­tee and club mem­bers, who to­gether have sought out in­vestors and spon­sors, and run fundrais­ing events lo­cally to source the much-needed funds to meet the grow­ing needs of the club.

Sligo RFC are deeply in­debted to the mem­bers and friends of Sligo RFC, spon­sors and the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity who con­tinue to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of the club.

Next in the fundrais­ing pipe­line is the op­por­tu­nity to win an all-ex­penses paid trip to the Rugby World Cup in Ja­pan, when the club is­sue their Your Club, Your Coun­try tick­ets, avail­able from club mem­bers.

This will be fol­lowed on De­cem­ber 15th by a Back to the 80s Christ­mas Party Night in the club af­ter the last match of the year. De­tails will be on the club’s Facebook page and web­site. Tick­ets can be pur­chased through Cos­grove’s Cen­tra, Maugher­aboy, Keane’s Cen­tra, Strand­hill and The Record Room.

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