MY name is Ashleigh Larkin and I am one of three Greenkeeping Cadets studying at Greenmount campus.
Through a Golf Ireland Cadetship scholarship, I am studying for a Level 2 Work-based Diploma in Horticulture following a Sports Turf pathway. The course is delivered over one year of full-time study at Greenmount campus.
I became aware of the course and the opportunity to become a funded cadet whilst attending an Open Day at Greenmount campus. I have always had an interest in golf greenkeeping, so I applied immediately. I was interviewed by a panel of Golf Ireland and CAFRE representatives.
I was delighted to be awarded with the Golf Ireland Scholarship which provides a generous financial bursary to support me through my studies.
Following the completion of my GCSEs I started working at Greenmount campus. Greenkeeping has traditionally been viewed as a stronghold of the male workforce. I’m proud to demonstrate that ladies also bring valuable skills to the turf team environment.
The cadetship programme comprises of one day per week in the classroom. I learn theory on a range of topics; from grass identification to machinery maintenance.
During the rest of the week I work on campus alongside the other two cadets. We maintain and prepare the golf course and sports fields to an international standard in preparation for visits from the sporting elite, whether they are top golfers or visiting professional football clubs. It’s great to be able to gain practical experience working on the sports turf areas and campus grounds at Greenmount.
I am tutored and mentored by experienced greenkeeping staff who are always willing to let me ‘have a go’ no matter what the task. The facilities on campus are excellent. I have access to the most up-to-date equipment and machinery to develop and practice my skills. CAFRE is making sure I will be well equipped to take up a greenkeeping post following my graduation.
As well as having access to all facilities, equipment, and machinery, I have had the opportunity to attend major industry technical and trade events. I have been able to access all areas at prestigious venues such as the K Club in Kildare, a former Ryder Cup venue. I am really enjoying the experience and I would recommend this course and especially the cadetship opportunity to anyone wanting to pursue a career in greenkeeping.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please visit the CAFRE website to find out more: www.cafre.ac.uk/study/horticulture/
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