By Mike Jiggens
MONCTON, N.B. will be abuzz on July 21 as the city plays host to the
first ever Atlantic Sports Turf Field Day. A presentation of the
Guelph, Ont.-based Sports Turf Association, the event is significant in
that it is being held outside the province of Ontario.
The association has recognized Moncton as one of the premier Canadian cities known for its sports turf facilities. In recent years, the “geographic centre of the Maritimes” has been host to such high-profile sporting events as the International Association of Athletics Federation under 19 world track and field championships and a neutral-site Canadian Football League regular searson game.
The CFL will be visiting Moncton again this summer for another contest after the tremendous success of last year’s game.
Moncton’s biggest cheerleader and a key figure in securing the coming Field Day is Gorden Horsman, who has played a prominent role in the construction and maintenance of many of the city’s premier fields.
The longtime member of the Sports Turf Association has urged his fellow turf managers to attend.
“We hope turf managers from across the region will take advantage of the day’s offering of sports turf-focused education…and what a great networking opportunity.”
Robert Daniels, adjunct professor of turfgrass science at Nova Scotia Agricultural College, will preside over the day.
“Due to the increased expectations of recreational, amateur and professional athletes, many sports turf facilities have been or are in the process of being either upgraded or constructed in Atlantic Canada,” he said. “To meet the expectations of these end users, seasonal maintenance practices must be continually improved. The hosting of such an event as this turf field day provides an opportunity for individual managers to increase their knowledge of the latest products and cultural practices available.”
Among the high-level speakers slated to take the podium are Dr. Eric Lyons and Dr. Katerina Jordan of the University of Guelph, Gord Dol of Dol Turf Restoration Ltd., who was instrumental in converting the end zones at the Université de Moncton’s brand new stadium to artificial turf in time for last summer’s CFL contest, and George Bannerman of Gordon Bannerman Ltd., manufacturer of leading sports turf equipment.
The day is to include educational sessions at the Moncton Coliseum and practical “on the field” training at the nearby CN Sportplexe. A barbecue lunch will be available for all attendees.
If Moncton’s track record for its outdoor sports events in recent years is any indication of how well the sports turf field day is to be received, it should prove to be a smash success.
Interested parties can learn more about the event or register for it by visiting http://www.sportsturfassociation.com or by calling (519) 763-9431.
Look for our follow-up coverage of this event this fall in the pages of Turf & Recreation.