Dennis and SISIS have now completed a UK tour of spring maintenance seminars, in which groundsmen and greenkeepers received over 60 hours of education.
With sixteen seminars, covering the whole of the UK, the seminars offered all attendees the chance to refresh their education on a variety of topics, meet other like-minded individuals, share and gain knowledge and learn best practices.
The bowls seminars welcomed a wide range of attendees including greenkeepers, volunteers and club secretaries, while the cricket focused seminars brought together groundsmen representing grass roots, schools, local clubs and international test venues.
A great line-up of guest speakers and industry experts including the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), the IOG (Institute of Groundsmanship), Bowls Scotland, Bowls England and the British Crown Green Bowling Association, as well as other leading industry companies who were on hand to discuss topics such as maintaining a playing surface, funding support, how to choose the correct grass seed and fertiliser, pesticides and spraying and renovations on a budget. Each seminar also had practical demonstrations which highlighted the best techniques for a range of tasks including aeration, scarifiying, brushing, mowing and pitch rolling.
Vic Demain, head groundsman at Durham CCC, presented an entertaining and insightful presentation entitled 'A Groundsman's Life' at the Emirates Riverside Stadium, and he was delighted to be a part of it.
"Having been involved with the Dennis and SISIS Cricket Groundsman Seminars since their launch in 2011, it has been fascinating to see the growth of the events, together with the interest shown by the industry."
"The beauty of many of these events is being able to share time with likeminded folk, making new contacts and discovering that no matter what level one works at, we all have the same passion."
Rod Heyhoe, a volunteer at Lightcliffe Cricket Club, attended the Cricket Groundsman's Seminar in Durham and certainly found the day worthwhile: "This seminar has been full of great advice - amusing as well. I'm always learning and these kind of seminars really help me to evolve. It has also provided me with a fantastic opportunity to talk in person to some of the experts."
At the Bowling Green Maintenance Seminar in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, Peter Owen from Brighouse Sports Club said: "I've only just got involved in helping out with the bowls green. That's why I've come here today to try and pick some ideas up. It's been an excellent day and I've really enjoyed it. The demonstrations with the machinery were excellent and I found the talk about the different kinds of grasses really informative. The seminar has been really educational and I'd like to thank Dennis and SISIS for putting it on."
Echoing Peter's thoughts was Alan Mazurke from Littlemore Sports and Social Club: "This event has been very helpful and I would highly recommend everyone responsible for maintaining bowling greens to attend these seminars. We're all amateurs here and we've picked up all sorts of knowledge from various people," he said.
Dennis and SISIS support further sports turf education wherever possible and as well as hosting their own seminars throughout this busy period, they also supported a number of regional dealer events, Rugby Football Union (RFU) Pitch Maintenance evenings and IOG regional events.