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Pitch Maintenance Upskill for Cook Islands

The seminar was the first of its kind in Oceania, introducing the FIFA Pitch Quality Kit and how to assess field using this equipment.
At the helm of the workshop was facilitator and pitch consultant Dr. Marke Jennings-Temple from the Sports Turf Research Institute in Australia.
In his address to the participants at the opening ceremony, CIFA President Lee Harmon noted the key role of a groundskeeper.
“Training players and coaches is important, but looking after what they play on is even more important,” Harmon said.
During the seminar the groundskeepers gained further background on natural grass maintenance and how to best practice methods such as; fertilising, irrigation, aeration, seeding, sprigging and renovation, using different machines and tools available to them here in the Cook Islands.
The course also included hands-on outdoor sessions where the participants learned how to use the Pitch Quality Kit through assessing the CIFA’s top pitch.
This session was a new learning experience for the groundskeepers and for BCI National Stadium’s field maintenance manager, Makirau Haurua, it was an eye-opening experiment.
“I never knew there were tools of such that existed,” he said.
“The kit will be very beneficial in the upkeep of our pitch at the stadium.”
Participants included CIFA turf manager Edwin Browne and his assistants Anthony Samuela and Lai Gukisuva, Avatiu field groundsman Martin Mitchell, BCI National Stadium field maintenance manager, Makirau Haurua and his assistant Christopher Tangatakino, as well as Aroronga FC President Junior Areai.
“We don’t get opportunities like this here in the Cook Islands and I think for Marke to come here and share with us his experience and knowledge we are very lucky,” Browne said.
“In the short amount of time we’ve had with Marke I have learned a lot of new things that could help with maintaining our grounds here at CIFA,” said.
The seminar came to a close on Friday afternoon with the CIFA President and General Secretary joining in the meeting.