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Gigaclear customer and former England fast bowler Darren Gough lives with his family in rural Buckinghamshire. Darren is an ambassador of the Gigaclear Rural Sports Club Fund. We caught up with the former Yorkshire Cricket Club captain and Strictly Come Dancing winner at his home to ask him a few questions.

 


 

You’re an ambassador for the Gigaclear Rural Sports Club Fund – tell us about this initiative? 

Grassroots sports clubs are at the very heart of British sport, helping develop the next generation of players in every sport, regardless of whether they go on to play for fun, coach or play professionally. I certainly would not have achieved what I have without the start I got at my local clubs. However, it is tough financially to sustain these clubs which are typically run by volunteers.

 

In my sport cricket you need volunteers to coach, umpire, keep score and, of course, help with the famous cricket teas. Then you need to think about the equipment, from basics such as stumps, bats and balls to padding, gloves and helmets; not forgetting the cost of the upkeep of the pitch, the rollers and sight screens. Other sports are similar and the challenge is, apart from cones, there is pretty much no equipment that works across multiple sports! The money that Gigaclear is going to invest into rural sports clubs will be a game changer. I am happy and proud to support Gigaclear in this outstanding initiative and also can’t wait to get involved with some of the rural clubs.

 

Tell us about your experience of playing in amateur sports clubs?

As a kid, I mostly played football and cricket. I enjoyed competing so much that I never really noticed the facilities, which were typically at best, very basic. However, looking back, I can now see that a small amount of investment in equipment would have made a massive difference to these amateur rural clubs, which in turn would have allowed them to reach more youngsters like me.


How influential were your volunteer coaches?

There was never one single coach who taught me all I know or could tick all the boxes but there were many whose enthusiasm, encouragement and knowledge contributed to my early learnings. I’m grateful to them and to all the volunteer coaches who help make rural amateur sport the heart and soul of many communities.


What’s your view on the state of grassroots rural sports clubs?

The lack of funds is certainly a universal problem, closely followed by the lack of basic facilities.

Darren Gough spoke to Gigaclear about his role as the Rural Sports Club Fund ambassador and their ultrafast full fibre broadband

And finally!

What’s the fastest speed you’ve bowled at?

Quick enough! I won the fastest bowler in an England shirt three years running, clocking 95mph.


What was the secret of your cricketing success?

I was always looking to improve. Always practised hard at 100%.


Thoughts on the 2023 Ashes series?

Where do I start? Fully entertaining series. Two brands of cricket being played by two unbelievable teams.

Gigaclear customer Darren Gough enjoying the benefits of the Ultrafast full fibre broadband at his home in rural Buckinghamshire

Let’s talk Strictly – what was the fastest dance you performed and what was your favourite dance?  

The Jive was the fastest and the most difficult, it was a challenge to learn in five days. My favourite dance would have to be the quick step!  

 

What is your proudest achievement?  

Every time I got an England cap - and being the only Englishman to get a hat-trick in the 20th century against Australia. Off the pitch, besides my two wonderful sons, probably the work I have done with my wife to raise money for charity. 

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