Catching up with Chris
Maroochydore Cricket Club’s world class cricket facilities are home to the mighty Swans. President Chris Walsh has been a part of the club since 2017, having been a passionate cricketer since his time growing up in the UK.
Tell us a bit about your club.
Our club started in the mid-70s, but moved to its current location in Buderim in the early 2000s. We have 6 teams playing in the local Sunshine Coast competition at the moment, made up of 5 senior men’s teams and 1 senior women’s team. We also have 13 junior teams. All up, we have around 100 senior members and 150 junior members, making us the biggest club on the Coast.
Like a lot of other sporting grounds, ours is a reformed rubbish tip – it’s come a long way since the 90s. Our grounds have 4 ovals and a turf training centre, with 2 full-time groundsmen looking after them.
What are you most proud of about the club?
It’s a very young club, in terms of the average age of our members. Many of them are in their early to mid20s, which is a reflection of our local population. This means that, naturally, there’s a little less time for these members to dedicate to volunteer efforts, as they are studying, developing their careers, or in that early stage of family life. In spite of this challenge, I’m proud of the fact that we have such a committed group of volunteers.
Due to the maintenance required by our club’s facilities, we need to use the grounds in some capacity year-round in order to generate revenue. This means that we don’t only host training and local competition, but we also rent the grounds out for events. These events include state championships, national championships, and university competitions for a range of sports. Our volunteers are instrumental in making sure that these events run smoothly, as they require an enormous amount of work. It’s very humbling that in spite of spare time being at a premium these days, our volunteers still manage to contribute as much and as enthusiastically as they do.
What is your main goal for the next 12 months?
This year, we worked really hard to build better processes that would help relieve the pressure of things such as team selection, so we’re hoping to implement those successfully into the future. This will hopefully mean that we reach the finals in the local competition across all of our grades – from 1st to 5th division. We have high expectations of our players, and want to do everything we can to support them to achieve as much success as possible.
In addition to that, our number one priority is installing lights on one of our ovals to enable us to play in the evenings. We’re hoping to be a long way down the track to completing that within the next 12 months or so.
What sets you apart from other clubs?
There’s no other club on the Coast with 4 full-size ovals in one location, which means that we’re able to cater to a large number of members as well as share our grounds with interstate or international teams when they visit. It’s also an appealing location for these teams, given its proximity to restaurants, accommodation, and other necessities for travelling players. You can’t beat it for convenience.
What made you want to get involved with the club?
A million years ago – well, probably a little closer to 1971 – I was a young cricketer back in the UK. On an awards night, I remember receiving an award and thanking everyone in my speech. Everyone at the club the volunteers, committee, coaches, and everyone else who was working hard to make sure that our members succeeded, improved and had a great time.
The President of my club came up to me afterwards, and said, “Promise me that when you’ve got time on your hands, way down the track, you’ll pay it forward.” The best way for me to thank them for their efforts was to do exactly what I’m doing right now. I’ve had a lot of fun over many, many years playing cricket, and everywhere I went, someone dedicated their time and resources to make it an enjoyable experience for the players. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do that in this capacity as President of Maroochydore Cricket Club.
To connect with Maroochydore Cricket Club, check them out on the following links below: