Saturday, December 4, 2021
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Taking care of family business

I’M Luke Cuthbertson, pictured right, and I am currently working in my family’s groundcare business in the Clogher Valley, County Tyrone. Increasingly our company is being asked to carry out more specialist sports turf operations on both winter games and fine turf venues. This requires a more technical knowledge in turf maintenance procedures and indeed the use of highly specialised turf equipment.

With this in mind, I have enrolled on the CAFRE Level II Work-based Diploma in Sports Turf Programme delivered at the Greenmount campus in Antrim.

The part-time one-day per week format of learning suits my work pattern. Most of the delivery is over the quieter period of the autumn and winter when many maintenance operations we carry out for clients are not feasible. Meeting and interacting, and sharing experiences with other students from both public and private sectors adds to my development as we tend to exchange lots of tips and pointers both in the classroom and over tea.

Built in to the delivery of the programme are other non-sports turf work skills, particularly in the area of computing. The staff demonstrate how use of IT can benefit in the management of the various projects within our business and in the submission and presentation of course work.

The course is delivered by CAFRE staff who are experts in their respective areas of sports turf management and they can instruct in a way which takes into account the needs of the students like myself who would consider themselves to be very much “hands-on” in their approach to learning.

I am enjoying all aspects of my course at CAFRE Greenmount – the facilities and resources are second to none and the staff have made my learning experience most enjoyable. I would recommend this programme to anyone keen to develop themselves while working in the sports turf management sector.

n For more information on work-based horticulture programmes contact Paul Campbell on 028 94 426870 or email on Paul.campbell@daera-ni.gov.uk

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