Tag Archive for: Trip

SALTEX Winners Six Nations Trip

SALTEX Winners Six Nations Trip: After claiming the SALTEX College Cup title for the second year running, students from CAFRE College in Antrim, Northern Ireland, enjoyed an unforgettable experience of helping with pitch preparations at the 2018 Six Nations Championships at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Scotland.

The SALTEX College Cup, sponsored by Ransomes, and organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), is a national student-led sports-turf challenge. It is an academic test of turf management knowledge for student competitors who are enrolled at colleges throughout the UK on relevant courses of study. Launched at the show in 2016, CAFRE was the first college to have its name engraved on the trophy and as part of the prize, the winning students were part of the Wembley grounds team at the 2017 FA Cup Final.

SALTEX Winners Six Nations Trip

CAFRE returned to SALTEX 2017 where they saw off competition from four other colleges to reclaim the trophy. As well as receiving a £500 cheque and £50 Amazon vouchers for each student, the CAFRE team was presented with another prize that money can’t buy – preparing the pitch at the 2018 Six Nations Championships for the Scotland vs England game.

The CAFRE team arrived at BT Murrayfield on the Friday afternoon before Saturday’s match and were soon mowing the pitch – firmly cementing the students’ names on the very small and exclusive list of people to have cut the BT Murrayfield pitch.

After a 7am start on the big day, the CAFRE team were part of the busy yet meticulously planned pitch preparations, and it would not be long before their work would be broadcasted to millions worldwide.

Commenting on the day, CAFRE student Matthew Barr said: “I found the whole experience incredible and one that I will never forget. I also learnt a lot of new techniques that I will be able to implement in my own work.

“My personal highlights of the weekend were being part of the grounds team and watching Scotland beat England for the first time in 10 years – the atmosphere was fantastic! Everyone was so welcoming and friendly.”

Alex Latto, assistant head groundsman at BT Murrayfield, was delighted to have the CAFRE students working alongside him: “Hosting the winners of the SALTEX College Cup was something we were really keen to do. Having the opportunity to help develop further some of the most promising students the turf care industry has to offer was a great experience for us.

The lads demonstrated good knowledge and practical experience and were willing to muck in with the unglamorous jobs associated with event set up. They left us with the assurance that they’d had an educational and enjoyable experience and we enjoyed working alongside them.”

Dan Prest, the IOG’s head of membership services, felt honoured to see such a finely tuned grounds team at work and was quick to thank everyone involved.

“I was amazed by the willingness of the BT Murrayfield grounds team to be here, there and everywhere for the greater good. It really was a case of all hands to the pump but they still gave the CAFRE students the best possible experience.

“Many thanks to Ransomes for their continuing support of this competition, Garry Blackadder, Jim Dawson, Alex Latto and Joanne Laing at BT Murrayfield for their support, work ethic and good nature in allowing the winners of the SALTEX College Cup to assist in a Six Nations’ match that will go down in history.”

All colleges interested in participating in the 2018 SALTEX College Cup should email Dan Prest at dprest@iog.org for more details.

To view show highlights and key interviews please visit www.youtube.com/MyIOG

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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3-day Round Trip To Dennis & SISIS Seminar Invaluable

3-day round trip to Dennis & SISIS seminar proves invaluable: After embarking on a three-day round journey to attend a Dennis and SISIS bowling green maintenance seminar in Perth, Scotland, Mike Bailey – secretary and treasurer of the Lerwick Outdoor Bowling Club, feels that the club has benefitted in more ways than one.

Founded in 1925, Lerwick is the only outdoor bowling club in the Shetland Islands, and after extensive research, Mike is led to believe that it is the most northerly outdoor bowling green in the world. The green at Lerwick is owned by the council but the bowling club took over the maintenance due to cost-cutting, and while, according to Mike, “it may have looked good to passers-by it was an infrequently cut green and was becoming impossible to play bowls on.”

3-day Round Trip To Dennis & SISIS Seminar Invaluable

Determined to improve the green, Mike felt that, even though he had picked up some relevant experience of tending to a cricket pitch for 31 years, he still needed to further enhance his knowledge of maintaining a bowling green.

“I wanted to attend the Dennis and SISIS seminar which was held in conjunction with Bowls Scotland, as my knowledge of bowling green maintenance was limited and the club thought that discussions with the experts could only be a benefit to us all,” he said.

However, it wasn’t a straightforward journey as he explains. “To get to Perth for the mid-morning start, I had to get the car ferry from Lerwick at 5.00 pm the evening before the seminar and had a very rough overnight crossing to Aberdeen which I did not enjoy as I am prone to sea-sickness.  We arrived at 7.00 am and then I drove to Perth arriving in plenty of time for the event. Unfortunately, after the seminar, I could not get back to Aberdeen in time for that evening’s sailing so had to stop the night in a Perth hotel before a leisurely drive to Aberdeen the next day.”

Designed to help club greenkeepers and volunteers maintain their bowling greens, the popular seminars have been credited for improving the greens at numerous bowls clubs throughout the country. Combining insightful presentations and practical tips, a number of industry experts take to the stage to discuss a wide range of key topics, and Mike believes that the strenuous journey proved to be worthwhile. Not only did he pick up some essential tips but he also discovered ways on how to source funding – which proved extremely valuable.

“It was well organised, proved very helpful and I managed to seek advice from several experts about greenkeeping. It was also good to look at new, lighter machinery because the council equipment we were using was fairly old and heavy and the majority of our bowling club volunteers, who do the physical work, are pensioners.

“When I gave my report about the trip to our Committee, the idea about a new multi-purpose machine with easily changed cassettes really appealed to them and a fund raising programme was set up with a view to purchasing a Dennis FT510.

“Ironically, representatives from the Big Lottery Fund visited Shetland shortly after the seminar so I approached them about the possibility of obtaining funding for the machine without much expectation of a positive response. However, there was no negativity at all and I informed the council and our Committee that I was going to make an application.

“I was soon informed that we would be getting the full amount of money for the new mower and it arrived a couple of weeks after we had ordered it.”

The Dennis FT510 is highly regarded by many who tend to bowling greens and it is easy to see why. With a 51cm working width, the FT510 provides its user with comfort, flexibility and excellent performance. A true sense of control is obtained through the full variable speed on the rear roller and the drive means that power will not be lost when carrying out tougher jobs such as scarification.

Available with five-bladed and ten-bladed cutting cylinders the machine can be matched to any situation and the interchangeable cassettes can be speedily changed without the requirement of tools. The range of 11 different cassettes mean that one machine can be used for several key maintenance tasks including scarifying, verticutting or brushing. These features combined with the tool-free click system of adjusting the height of cut are all elements which Mike believes has made life easier for the volunteers at Lerwick Bowls Club.

“I had used a Dennis mower at my previous cricket club, so I knew that it would be a reliable, well-made machine.

“The power unit arrived with cutting, scarifier, and verticutter cassettes and has worked up to our high expectations. We hope to get the best results from our proposed autumn work. The speed with which the cassettes can be changed is a real bonus and the whole machine is so much lighter than the one we used previously.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

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