Unusual Turf Problems

NZSTI has completed a customised training project in the Solomon Islands’ capital, Honiara – a journey spanning 7,000km. NZSTI’s tutor, Derek Ross, was present to deliver a week-long turf management program aimed at preparing grounds people for the upcoming Pacific Games in November, at the National Stadium.

The Pacific Games, similar to the Olympic or Commonwealth games, operate on a four-yearly cycle and are restricted to 22 nations within the Oceania region. They feature a mix of 17 core sports, such as athletics, boxing, basketball, football, and rugby 7s, along with up to 20 optional sports, as determined by the host nation.
While there were challenges in delivering such a project, flexibility was key to success. Although NZSTI had developed an outline program covering essential turf management principles, turfgrass species, cultural controls, fertilisers, weed and disease, and surface management, in-country requests highlighted the need for additional modules in agrichemical sprayer calibration and machinery servicing.

Derek incorporated these needs into the program and ensured that all participants had a better understanding of how to prepare their facilities for the upcoming games.
Local Government New Zealand Government (LGNZ) brokered the project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) which oversees New Zealand’s Aid Programmes. The programme has been successful, and NZSTI looks forward to working with LGNZ to improve sporting infrastructure within the Oceania region.