A minute with Marty
Martin Bristow is the President of Coolum Cricket Club, based at Coolum Beach’s Ron Cargill Oval. Although its players are known as the Sharks, we’re told they’re a friendly bunch who keep their teeth to themselves, both on and off the field.
Tell us a bit about your club.
Coolum Cricket Club has a 30+ year history – we’ve been around since ’91. The Club started out as a social club, representing Coolum Beach Hotel. Its focus was on senior men’s cricket with a couple of junior teams. Then, around 7 or 8 years ago, off the back of population growth in our area, we were able to grow to 240 members.
We have 4 senior men’s teams, a senior ladies’ team, 13 junior teams and our junior blaster’s program.
What has been your main goal over the last 12 months?
We’ve been working on growing the club by nurturing our junior members, encouraging them to stick around as part of our u15 and u17 teams then become a part of our senior teams as their skills develop. We’ve also been reaching out to local schools to support the growth of our junior teams.
We had a really strong last season for our junior teams, with 2 premiership wins. We’re hoping to continue to strengthen both our junior and senior teams and recruit more members.
What sets you apart from other clubs?
We’re lucky enough to have always enjoyed a very social, fun environment within our club. We want it to be somewhere people can come to have a good time – whether they’re having a chat over a beer, running around doing drills, having a bat, or just chilling out. Winning premierships is wonderful, but we want our club to be a bit of a haven for our players to come to after they finish working or studying for the day, so they can unwind and socialise with their mates.
Our senior cricketers always mix across all grades – we’re a clique-free zone. It’s a welcoming environment for everyone, because we want our members to feel like they’re not just a part of their team, they’re a part of the club as a whole. They’re proud to represent the Sharks because they truly belong.
What’s your involvement been with the club?
I got involved with the club in 1996 when I moved to the Sunshine Coast. I played for Maroochydore, then moved overseas and came back in 2010. I took my son down to Coolum, where he played under 8s – and I ran into a few people I knew from the old days. The rest is history – I liked what the club was doing and what its strategy was, both for the kids and for myself. As my sons got more involved in the club, so did I.
By 2016, I was on the committee and involved in coaching, and have now been the President for 6 years.
What does the club have in store for the rest of the year?
We’re currently working on a big project at our main oval, and that’s installing senior cricket grade lights so that we can play cricket in the evenings. The plan is for this to be completed by Christmas.
As we live in a surfing community, it’s important to be able to offer night fixtures on our home turf so beach-goers don’t have to choose between that and cricket. We’re looking forward to having this come to fruition in the next few weeks, as it’s something we’ve had at the top of our priority list for a couple of years now.
To connect with Coolum Cricket Club, check them out on the following links below: