ODS E-News talks to President of Sports Turf Association NSW, Chris Chapman, about his career to date and what the association has coming up.
Can you tell us a bit about your background - education, employment etc?
I was born and bred in Mudgee NSW and completed Year 12 in 1985. I attended Orange TAFE from 1986-88 where I did block release (3 days every 3 weeks). Many good times were had in Orange! I did my apprenticeship at the Mudgee Soldiers Bowling Club, and then moved to Sydney to take up the position of Assistant Greenkeeper at The Hills Bowling Club. I then worked at various bowling clubs around Sydney before ending up at Campbelltown Sports Stadium for nine years. I am currently working at Millers Turf.
How did you get into the turf industry and how long have you been President of STA NSW?
My Grandparents and my Dad all played bowls so I spent many school holidays at the bowling club either rolling up or watching bowls. I did greenkeeping for work experience twice and loved it and I was lucky enough to get the apprenticeship when it became available. I have been on the Committee of STA NSW for five years and been privileged to hold the position of President for the past two years.
What has been your career highlight to date?
Without a doubt preparing Campbelltown Stadium for its first NRL game. The ground had just been completely rebuilt and there were very high expectations. The week leading up to it was absolute chaos and when it was all over I felt a great deal of relief and personal satisfaction.
Can you tell us about STA NSW - it's aims, membership, activities etc?
STA is an association developed for Greenkeepers by Greenkeepers. It is an industry-based association dedicated to providing its members with networking opportunities, support, resources, training and education. We conduct a variety of events during the year, both educational and social, as well as e-newsletters and a magazine. STA NSW is committed to developing and supporting the young workers in our industry and we do this through support of TAFE awards and our State Sports Turf Graduate Award. We also work closely with other industry associations as we believe a united industry is a strong industry.
What does the association have planned/coming up?
So far this year we have held our annual Golf Day and Sydney Seminar and our next few events include a Workshop on July 4 for Management of Sports Turf with Poor Quality Water. Following that we will hold our annual Regional Seminar at Kurri Kurri TAFE on August 14 and our final seminar for the year is our two-day Cricket Wicket Seminar on October 16 and 17. This event is quiet unique as delegates get to see hands-on maintenance and preparation of live wickets by legend of the industry, Les Burdett, as well as presentations from a variety of industry leaders.