The 2014 Annual STA VIC Cricket Wicket Seminar at AAMI Park was a roaring success this year with a bustling trade show and packed out seminar room.
With over 300 people registered to attend the event it felt like all of them were in attendance, with the seminar room overflowing with people consistently throughout the afternoon.
The day began with a talk from David Sandurski and Tony Gordon from the MCG about the way they prepare the ground and pitches at the MCG.
Tony talked about all of the contractual obligations of the AFL grounds staff as well as how they use grow lights during winter to keep the grass healthy.
David compared his time at the MCG with his previous place of employment, the Allan Border Field and talked about what it was like learning how to make pitches under Kevin Mitchell.
Next up was Shaun Graf from Cricket Victoria who showed us all what a hectic time the 2014/15 cricket season is going to be.
Industry veteran Phil Ford enlightened us as to the benefits of overseeding a couch field with rye grass and compared high endophyte ryegrasses with lower ones.
He looked at studies that compared colours, coverage and quality of different perennial ryegrasses, which he found actually help to protect couch grasses, particularly on high wear grounds.
Mark Birchall from NMIT chatted about the changes happening in the TAFE system at the moment given recent funding cuts.
Pitchcraft’s Richard Winter and Robert Groenewegen from Aurora Stadium next took to the podium to chat about the portable pitch that Pitchcraft designed for the new and improved Aurora Stadium that was debuted last year at the Aussie 15s cricket match that turfmate reported on from Launceston.
The council’s were also well represented with Anthony Traynor from Glen Eira talking about their 42 sports fields and 16 turf wickets that he and his team look after.
Next, turf expert John Neylan presented a talk on how to cope with increased wear on sports fields and how to deal with the issues of poor irrigation and subsoil drainage, fertility and weed control.
He also took us through the SCG conversion from baseball, cricket, AFL and rugby all in 36 days.
The day culminated in an hour long Q&A session with Billy Brownless, AFL hero and media personality, best known for his work on The AFL Footy Show and Triple M radio.
He was bawdy, hilarious and kept everyone enthralled for the full hour, despite admitting to having a bit too much fun at a Footy Show function the night before!
The morning tea and lunch breaks were a great chance for people to check out the trade stands, if they weren’t too busy stuffing their faces with the impressive spread provided!
It was a great day and only seems to be getting bigger and better every year.
For more pictures of the day, check out the turfmate Facebook album.