Four cricket ground curators from India joined Australian sports turf managers at Toro’s fifth annual National Sports Fields and Grounds Forum.
Elise Willemsen, Toro’s Senior Marketing Manager for Equipment, said the event at Wesley College’s Glen Waverley campus in Melbourne had been designed to assist customers in the preparation and presentation of sports grounds.
“Our customers are able to see our equipment and irrigation product range first-hand, speak to our experienced staff, and try a variety of products for themselves,” she said.
Day one of the event included a tour of the Melbourne Cricket Grounds by Assistant Curator Michael Salvatore, and a visit to the Sports Museum. Afterwards, there was a welcome dinner and round of lawn bowls at the City of Melbourne bowling ground, which proved a great way for all participants to network.
Days two and three of the Forum included product rotations and training. Toro turf and irrigation equipment was displayed at Wesley College’s sports grounds, where all participants had the opportunity to ask questions and try out different machines.
Sriram Kasturirangan, Zonal Curator South – Karnataka State Cricket Association, said: “A lot of the machines on display are used on golf courses, with several like the Toro Groundsmaster, Greenmaster and Reelmaster mowers, Workman utility vehicles and Pro Force blowers, all being very useful for cricket grounds too. The irrigation display was excellent. There was a vast variety of sprinklers on display which was interesting.”
An official dinner was held at AAMI Stadium and included a very entertaining ‘Night on the Couch’ with industry icons Tom Parker (former Sydney Cricket Ground curator) and Kevin Mitchell (former curator at The Gabba Stadium in Brisbane).
The last day of the Forum included product updates on grounds equipment that will be launched later in the year, and an open forum where Toro asked participants for feedback on their products and technology.
After the forum, the four curators flew to Sydney and visited the Sydney Cricket Ground and Bradman Oval, and Bradman Museum.
Kasturirangan said: “Toro Australia has shown what every curator needs on cricket grounds. The hospitality and warmth extended to us was commendable as was the display of machinery and lectures. It was a wonderful opportunity for curators to learn a lot from Australia.
“I am very grateful and thankful to BCCI for providing us this opportunity to visit Australia to attend such a wonderful workshop, and the exposure to the wickets and grounds there, and the interaction with the curators.”