STA (Vic) Sports Turf Seminar 2019

Record attendance this year at the annual seminar which was held at the MCG on the 10th July, 2019 with an increased number of attendees and sponsor tables. 322 people attended and sponsor members made up 26 tables adding a great dimension in information sharing and networking. Thank you once again to all the sponsor members who supported us on the day.
Thank you to our joint sponsors Bayer and Toro for your valued support this year.  Landscaper, entrepreneur and a star of the long running Better Homes and Gardens – Jason Hodges kept us both entertained and in line. His wit and understanding of the industry placed him extremely well for the position of MC and we thank both Jason and Lilydale Instant Lawn for your support in bringing Jason to us for the day. Of course we were all
looking for Dannii, Jason’s dog who goes nearly everywhere with him.
Thank you to the presenters who gave their time willingly to attend and enlighten us all.  Daniel Schwarze, Casey Fields Supervisor discussed how they prepare for Premier Cricket at Casey Fields.  Cathryn Fitzpatrick talked about her career in cricket, induction into the Hall of Fame and her role within Cricket Victoria as a Coaching & Development Specialist.  Jyri Kaapro Development Specialist at Bayer discussed how to get the best from Specticle
for Poa Control.  Grant Greenway presented the findings from the STA (Vic) funded research project – Compare possible hours of use for different sports field construction types and maintenance inputs.  On the research topic, don’t forget to have your say on the next research project –  The STA (Vic) supports research projects each year and we would like members’ input as to which topics you would like to see covered.
Vote on the Facebook Poll  or email your ideas to Jan.
Ernie Gmehling from GroundScience shared the science behind preparing a cricket wicket.  “Soil is made up of solids, water and air. Density or compaction is defined as the mass of soil in a given volume, but they are different things. Hardness is the measure of strength to resist mechanical disturbance. A soil’s ability to be compacted is dependant on the amount of moisture, the weight of the roller and the hardness of the base on which you are compacting…”  Jarrod Hill from SportEng presented “Fact or Furphy”, a position on what works and what doesn’t work during the planning, design, construction and maintenance of turf fields of play.  We heard from joint sponsor Toro – with Clint Shaw & Ash Duncan talking about innovation and new products in the turf industry, including pump integration and monitoring, and data capture and remote access.
Toro Turf Graduate of the Year, Joe Bolton took us through his diary entries around his Award and trip to USA.
Joe introduced us to Nathan Andrews this year’s winner of Toro Turf Graduate of the Year –  I am sure we will hear and see more of Nathan in the future. Well done to both Graduates.
Rae Bonney, Integrated Wellbeing Specialist talked about the issues faced by the turf industry, in particular, when there is an increasing emphasis on producing facilities all months of the year and the industry is full of passionate, dedicated turf managers who often work in isolation as they take great responsibility to produce the best possible surfaces.  This can take its toll.  How environments can be created that support how people are feeling
with the industry.
“Turf Corner” made up of Mark Doyle (Hume CC), Michael Beck (City Greater Dandenong), Matt Richardson (Melbourne Grammar School) and Justin Lang (AAMI Park) fielded questions from Jason regarding the challenges of managing sports grounds and wickets –  transition from cricket to football. It was illuminating, revealing and current.  This is a panel of representatives from the industry to discuss issues faced by those within
the industry.
The Annual General Meeting was held prior to the Seminar. Part of the official proceedings included voting in the committee for 2019/20. We say thank you to Matt Richardson for his input over the last two years and hope we are able to continue to tap into Matt’s knowledge and expertise in the future. We welcome Hugh Gardner, Hume City Council into the fold and look forward to working with Hugh.
The STA (Vic) next event is the hands on Pitch Preparation Day to be held on the 10th September, 2019 at Melbourne Grammar School, Flack Park, Port Melbourne. The program and registration form are available now.
Any queries please email
Hope to see you there.
STA (Vic) Committee

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