Dream job for Tristram Johnston

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2013

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Turning a passion into a paid job has delighted South Canterbury's new fulltime rugby development officer Tristram Johnston.

Johnston started work yesterday and it was straight into the role, undertaking the coaching of secondary school girls at Craighead.

The 31-year-old replaces rugby manager Cam Kilgour, who is heading to Auckland, but their roles are slightly different with Johnston's sole focus on development.

Johnston was the South Canterbury Heartland captain in 2009 and the midfielder hopes to turn out for Temuka seniors again this year but only as long as it doesn't impact on his new job.

He also has coaching experience as he spent three years in London with the Wasps club. He will focus on encouraging teenagers to stay in the game and recruit more women into the sport.

"I'm looking at setting up smaller tournaments and hopefully get registrations up."

Johnston said if any school had a specific inquiry they could contact him.

"We are not going to tell anyone what to do but [we will] help put things in place to encourage rugby."

One school already in his sights is Opihi College.

"It's in my home town and we just want to help them out in any way we can to advance rugby."

Kilgour said it was great to have a fulltime resource and he was confident Johnston would do a good job. Some of Kilgour's other duties will be undertaken by the yet-to-be appointed chief executive.

South Canterbury chairman Brent Isbister said they were still working through the process and a dual role with cricket was still an option.

He said he had not, however, had any recent discussions with his cricketing equivalent Andrew McRae over the role.

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- The Timaru Herald

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