Green keep­ers gather to share knowl­edge, info

Coastal News - - Front Page - By LESLEY STANILAND

North Is­land bowl­ing clubs’ green keep­ers were wel­comed to Whangamata on the Par­adise Coast this week when the an­nual con­fer­ence was held at the Ocean Sports Club.

Thames-coro­man­del Mayor San­dra Goudie and MP for Coro­man­del Scott Simp­son both wel­comed the 70-plus keep­ers, in­clud­ing two from the South Is­land.

Bowls NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Cameron ad­dressed the con­fer­ence.

Whangamata green keeper and Thames Valley Green Keep­ers Pres­i­dent Peter Burgess who, with Ch­eryl and Frank Bax, or­gan­ised the con­fer­ence, said there were 293 bowl­ing clubs in the North Is­land, 19 of those in the Thames Valley re­gion.

Green keep­ing was a spe­cialised field, Mr Burgess said.

“Ev­ery green keeper has to be a bit of a chemist and we all need to be cer­ti­fied to buy and han­dle chem­i­cals,” he said.

The pur­pose of the con­fer­ence was to bring green keep­ers to­gether to share their knowl­edge and hear about de­vel­op­ments within the fra­ter­nity, as well as hold train­ing ses­sions and hear about ad­vance­ments in green keep­ing tech­niques.

The con­fer­ence opened on Sunday with a bowls tour­na­ment at the Le­an­der Park Bowl­ing Club, fol­lowed by happy hour.

Mon­day saw the green keep­ers ea­gerly lis­ten­ing to an ad­dress by Whangamata En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­sul­tant Dr Brian Cof­fey fol­lowed by David Ormsby talk­ing about pesky weeds on greens and how to con­trol and/ or elim­i­nate them.

Ad­vice on how to use and store chem­i­cals, look­ing to the fu­ture with re­gards to man­age­ment of greens and many other top­ics were dis­cussed at the con­fer­ence.

But it wasn’t all hard work. There was plenty of time to so­cialise and catch up with old mates or meet new ones, at the so­cial hours and the con­fer­ence din­ner on Mon­day night, at which Olympic double gold medal­list rower Eric Mur­ray MNZM spoke about his ca­reer and achieve­ments.

“We also pro­moted the Coro­man­del to ev­ery­one and en­cour­aged them to travel around the penin­sula be­fore head­ing home,” Mr Burgess said.

“We used the slo­gan: ‘Our Par­adise, Your Play­ground’ to pro­mote the re­gion.”

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

Whangamata green keeper and Thames Valley Green Keep­ers pres­i­dent Peter Burgess.

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