Last Saturday marked a special day in the 128year 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 four-phase plan was put into action to improve the facilities at Hamilton Park and meet the growing demands 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.