London, England: It’s been a mixed few months for Australians in Europe. The Socceroos put in a valiant but ultimately disappointing display at the World Cup in Russia while the Australian cricket team suffered a 5-0 one-day international series loss at the hands of England.
But for one Australian travelling to Europe under the Campey Turf Care Systems’ banner it’s been a hugely positive experience.
A Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, Campey, through the Ohio State Programme, runs a programme to support greenkeepers who are interested in learning new techniques.
Samantha Butler, a horticulturist and greenkeeper, based at Australia’s Sydney Olympic Park, is the latest individual to have joined Campey for a six-month educational programme in the United Kingdom.
Such was her desire to expand her knowledge and skill-set to progress her career that Butler took time off work and travelled half-way around the world, swapping the heat of New South Wales for the colder climes of Macclesfield.
“It’s been a wonderful experience and a real eye-opener,” said Butler, who works for the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales. “Being one of the only females working in a major sports stadium in Australia, and wanting career progression, I originally reached out to Mike O’Keefe from the Ohio State programme.
“With three months at Campey I’ve been to a couple of countries. I’ve been very well looked after. They’ve made sure everything has been in place for me and it’s been wonderful.
“I wasn’t keen on focusing on just golf because I work in a stadium that has all sorts of sports. So, I wanted to see how different venues do different things and with Campey I’ve been to football pitches, cricket pitches, golf clubs and a few stadiums, like the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park, where they host similar sports to us.
“It’s a lot different over here and much of that is down to the cold weather. It’s interesting to know situations change in different climates and how turf comes back from colder weather. When I was in Ireland the fog was so bad you couldn’t see 10 feet in front of you. I went to some of the nicest courses, but I couldn’t see anything!
“You get to see through the eyes of different groundsman and get a feel for what they do as well as getting to speak to them and see their machinery and equipment.
“It’s given me a good idea of how other people operate and helped me make contacts in the industry. It’s also bolstered my CV, which was one of the main points of the trip.”
Following her time with Campey, Butler will join Steve Braddock at English Premier League giants Arsenal for three months to gain first-hand experience of maintaining one of the most prestigious training grounds in world football.
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