There is a new face in charge of running Coleraine Rugby and Cricket Club.

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In a break with established tradition the new chairman of the club is Vishal Chopra. The main difference is that Vishal has come to the fore through his involvement with the cricket section, rather than the more traditional route of the rugby section in the club.
That is not an issue as far as Vishal is concerned and he will be doing his utmost for all the members and sports in the club.
Speaking on Thursday he said: “I am proud to be chairman of such a great club. It is a great honour to have been asked.
“We have facilities here that are second to none and they are the envy of sporting clubs across the province. What I now want to see is all our sports being played at a good level

“We all have to stick with the young players and see them develop and give continuity to the future. Without the development of our young people the future would be bleak
“We want those young people to say they want to play for the badge, for the club. That this is where they want to play now and this is where they want to finish up playing in the future.”
Vishal is a true clubman. He said: “The club is there for all the members and their sports. The sections have to make their plans and it is my role as chairman to work with the executive committee and the sections, to support their efforts.
“All the sporting sections have been through rough times in recent years but when you are down the only place to go is up. It is the aim of all the sections to see the club as a whole doing well and I will be supporting all of them.”
Vishal joined the club in 1989 and has played at every level in the cricket section. He is particularly proud of having captained the Firsts as they won promotion to the Senior League, Section 1, two years ago.
This year the Firsts have been in fine form, especially in the early season with a number of major league wins and a very successful run in the Senior Cricket Cup. The side are now focussing on a top five finish to the league.
It is Vishal’s work within the cricket section that has brought him to the chair of the club.
He said: “I have been working hard representing the interests of the cricket section for a number of years and people saw me looking after cricket’s needs. Cricket is working well now and they thought that I was an able person to look after the affairs of the whole club. That is my goal – to work for the good of the entire club.
“Cricket is doing well so far this season and now we hope that rugby and hockey can follow on, leaving behind the difficult seasons they have just experienced. They have to work hard and the club is there to support them.”
Vishal is a strong believer in developing young talent in the club, the cricket section being a fine example. Several home developed young players such as Scott Campbell, Paul and Andrew Douglas, Rory Knox and Rishi Chopra have already gained national honours and this bodes well for the future.
Success has also come through the mini rugby and hockey sections and this is another aspect which will fall under the watchful and supportive eye of the club chairman. Every team in the club consists mainly of former mini and youth players from the club.
He said: “There are many people working with the young people in the club, passing on their knowledge and love of sport to the next generation. Their reward is to see those young people develop and enjoy their game. They are the future of the club.”
Coleraine Rugby and Cricket Club wish their new chairman every success in his new role.

Getting the right people in the right roles is the secret to success in any organisation and this is just as true in a rugby club, hopefully clubs across grass roots rugby in Ulster Rugby will all benefit from any changes that have been made.

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