Coleraine YFC celebrates 85th year

2016 saw Coleraine Young Farmers’ Club enter their 85th year. A celebratory 85th anniversary dinner was held in the Royal Court Hotel on Saturday 27th February.

It was great to see a turnout of over 200 people from past members to current members and even some future members.

Members of Coleraine YFC at the public speaking county competition

Members of Coleraine YFC at the public speaking county competition

The club welcomed a very distinguished and well known past member of Coleraine YFC as guest speaker.

Mr John Johnston gave a very entertaining speech, filling members in on some stories of Coleraine YFC in its younger years.

Turns out not much has changed, the rivalry with Garvagh YFC is still as fierce as it was some 50 years ago.

The YFCU AGM and conference took place in the La Mon Hotel in April.

Coleraine YFC annual county dinner and prizegiving

Coleraine YFC annual county dinner and prizegiving

It was a worthwhile weekend trip away for the club’s older members as they lifted five out of the six special cups and four members were recognised for their proficiency, two receiving their tenth badges and the other two their twelfth and their thirteenth badges, not an easy achievement.

Stock judging and silage assessment competitions took place throughout the spring months with numerous members qualifying top of their county heats, heading for the Northern Ireland finals.

Late spring saw the Balmoral Show taking place. Coleraine were represented here in sheep shearing, floral art and girls football and the club lifted awards in both the sheep shearing and the floral art competitions.

The summer of 2016 was a busy, competitive and fun one for the dedicated members of Coleraine YFC.

Coleraine YFC's 85th anniversary dinner

Coleraine YFC's 85th anniversary dinner

Both junior and senior teams enjoyed the tag rugby heats at Ballymoney Rugby Football Club, with the seniors successfully advancing to the finals in Omagh.

Coleraine members were involved in the Co Londonderry Agricultural Show which took place in July.

The weekend began with a first place in the boys’ football and a second place in the girls’ football at the county sports night.

This success was continued through to Saturday when members turned their hands to some home industries and photography classes gaining many places including overall first place in the Young Farmers’ home industries competition.

Members attending a club meeting at Dundonald Ice Bowl

Members attending a club meeting at Dundonald Ice Bowl

Members also helped steward alongside judges and assisted at the YFC stand at the show.

The first weekend in August saw the return of the ever-popular Coleraine Young Farmers’ Club barbecue.

Once again this was an extremely well supported event, where everyone had a very enjoyable night of beats and banter.

Many thanks to Beatz Entertainment, everyone who came along to support and last but no means least, club members for their hard work and dedication to make the night a success.

In the final week of August, members enjoyed a summer meeting at the Edge Water Park, Coleraine, taking on the River Bann’s version of Total Wipeout.

This fun-filled evening dusted off the cobwebs in time for getting stuck into the busy winter programme.

Coleraine YFC were presented with five special cups at YFCU AGM and  conference

Coleraine YFC were presented with five special cups at YFCU AGM and conference

September kicked off the start of the winter programme with members enjoying some competitive ice breaker games.

It was great to see so many returning members and 10 new faces joining for the year ahead.

With the club meetings kick started, the return of many competitions before the Christmas period was on the horizon.

Members took part in the floral art, public speaking, debating, home management and Young Farmer of the Year competitions.

The club saw great success in all these competitions, with numerous first and second places throughout.

Not only was success enjoyed at county level public speaking and debating but also at Northern Ireland level with Coleraine gaining top spots in both competitions.

The annual county dinner and prizegiving took place in November, with over 40 members attending.

It was a very successful night, with numerous prizes being lifted by all ages.

Turns out the hard work and dedication throughout the year did pay off.

On a whole, 2016 was a very enjoyable and successful 85th year for Coleraine Young Farmers’ Club, with the club going from strength to strength.

Here’s to the next 85 years.