Sports turf managers from around Australia have attended Toro’s inaugural Sports Fields and Grounds Forum in the picturesque Victorian town of Torquay.
The two-day event was held at Peppers The Sands Torquay from November 18 – 21 and enabled Toro to showcase its latest products and new technology in a series of training and information sessions.
Toro Senior Marketing Manager Equipment Elise Willemsen said the event had been designed to assist customers in the preparation and presentation of sports grounds.
“This is the first time we’ve offered a forum of this nature to the sports turf management industry,” Ms Willemsen said.
“Our customers have been able to see our product range first-hand, speak to our experienced staff and try a variety of products for themselves.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback we’ve received from our customers.”
Toro USA Senior Marketing Manager – International Jamieson Bergen said the product rotation stations were key to the success of the forum.
Toro’s new Groundsmaster® 4000-D, Groundsmaster® 360, the Reelmaster® 7000-D and the Pro ForceTM Debris Blower were among the most popular products trialled by attendees.
“The Groundsmaster® 4000-D uses new smart power technology,” Mr Bergen said.
“As the demand for power increases, the machine slows down to maintain blade speed resulting in an efficient cutting and high quality cutting.
“It’s quite an exciting and unique technology for sports turf management.”
Mr Bergen said the feedback from customers was crucial in new product development.
“The input from our end users ensures we’re incorporating all their needs and developing products to meet global needs,” Mr Bergen said.
Victorian Sports Turf Association President Nathan Tovey said it was important for the industry to work together and learn from each other.
“To see the work Toro is doing behind the scenes for our industry is important,” Mr Tovey said.
“Through Toro’s dealer network, there is a great deal of support for us as the end user.
“It’s a relationship that can only prosper into the future.”
City Wide Business Manager Andrew Wright said the forum was a great opportunity to meet key people in the industry and find out more about the latest product range.
“I’m now more educated on the range and benefits of the Toro products and have been very impressed with Toro’s knowledge and expertise,” he said.
“I’m confident Toro can continue to assist me in terms of product selection, servicing and support.”
Horticulture and Operations Manager at Metricon Stadium Nick Jeffrey said the event had been a valuable networking tool.
“A significant outcome of these events is the contacts made,” Mr Jeffrey said.
“It’s the small things that go a long way and I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in the forum.”
National Sports Turf Graduate of the Year Andrew Spicer from Wyong Shire Council said the forum allowed him to learn from the best in the industry.
“The product rotation training and industry presentations have provided me with a wealth of information that I’m keen to share with my Council colleagues,” Mr Spicer said.
“I met so many amazing people who are all very supportive of my role.”
One of those is Michael Smith from Scotch College in Victoria who was chosen as Andrew’s mentor and will accompany him to the Toro Sports Fields and Grounds Forum in the United States in July 2014.
“The beauty about these forums is that you’re getting key sports field managers from around Australia all networking together – to me that’s priceless,” Mr Smith said.
Also in attendance at the forum was industry partner Syngenta who conducted a presentation on chemical application.
Attendees also took part in a friendly game of golf at the 18-hole championship golf course.
The two-day event culminated with a visit and tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).