The 1st of March 2023 was the date everything changed for Turf Professionals in Scotland. The first Scottish turf event for almost 15 years, opened its doors at Hamilton Park Racecourse, and the visitors began to pour in an hour before official registration had even opened.
Connecting the industry
The trial show was devised by 17 of the industry's most influential companies, to give something back to the Scottish turf community and to connect with the Industry, by providing a local turf event, accessible to a vast swathe of groundsmen and greenkeepers from all areas of sport, that had never had the opportunity to attend a local industry event.
David Roxburgh - Head Groundsman - Rangers Football Club
"Something needed to happen here in Scotland, I think it's been great. The fantastic turnout here hasn't surprised me because I think Scotland has been desperate for something like this. It needs a big show, and I think this could possibly be the forerunner of something great."
The number of registered visitors had risen above the target of200with 287 attending on the day.
The itinerary of early morning bacon rolls, and coffee was a welcome diversion while the visitors signed in and was followed by an introduction to the idea behind the show by Alan Thomson of AllGrass and Richard Heywood of Campey Turf Care Systems. The guests were immediately engaged with two 20 minute speakers, Gary Smith senior agronomist from the STRI, quickly followed by Joe Shaw from SIS Pitches, before heading out into the spring sunshine for the outdoor exhibition area.
After a couple of hours of interaction with the exhibitors, the group enjoyed a lunch in the hospitality suite overlooking the magnificent race track at Hamilton Park. Then it was back to the marquee for two more short seminars, one from Kelly Marie Clarke agronomist from Origin and finally an introduction to Hamilton Park itself by Ashley Moon, Managing Director of Hamilton Racecourse who said, "We are delighted to welcome the Scots Turf Show to Hamilton Racecourse and work alongside such excellent partners".
It is important to the companies behind this event to gauge the response of the visitors going forward, with a view to expanding the event significantly next year.
Barry McCulloch - Course Manager Caldwell Golf Club commented "It's something that I've been looking forward to for quite some time and hoping that it did happen. It's been good to come along and support the event. The venue they have picked is probably one of the best areas in Scotland because it's very easily accessible, you can come from all over the country. You just have to look at the numbers that showed up today to see why it's a great venue. 50% of my workforce has never been to a turf show, so that is another reason we came along today. It's good for the younger guys to come and see some of the machinery and get a different perspective of things."
Jim Dawson - Head Groundsman - BT Murrayfield
"We would usually have to travel to events down South to see
machinery or even have a chat with other groundsmen. So, today has
been good for networking. I've met a lot of people here, from
football to rugby, golf and horse racing.
I think this could take off. We are all very positive about the event, and I'm very happy for them to be talking about expanding it. I like having the option to attend the seminars, then getting to see some of the machinery in action and meeting the reps as well."
Alan Thomson from AllGrass is absolutely delighted with the response on the day. As one of the main drivers he explains "From a concept back in 2019 over a McDonald's Coffee to seeing the reality of such a fantastic event. Don't get me wrong we are not reinventing the wheel here but simply putting it on a different path and a path that can continue to build excitement for the Scottish and beyond markets. 'Connecting the Industry' this is something that Richard and I believe we can do and hopefully with the many ideas for the future we can achieve this."
So, The Scots Turf Show appears to have been an overwhelming success and looks like it may be here to stay.
Save the date - 6th March 2024
For more information contact:
Alan Thomson email@example.com
Richard Heywood Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org