The SALTEX College Cup, sponsored by Ransomes, is a new national student-led sports turf challenge - an academic test of turf management knowledge for student competitors who are enrolled at UK colleges on relevant study courses. Being staged for the first time at this year’s SALTEX, teams of four students will embark on a two-hour competition consisting of paper-based multiple choice and short answer questions concerning turf management, plus answer questions on a case study, which will require a more in-depth written answer.
The competition will also include live test samples for the physical identification of threats to turf health. The winning team will not only get their hands on the SALTEX College Cup, but will also receive a generous cheque for £500 which can be used towards items for the land-based college. In addition, students within the victorious team will be awarded a cash prize to be spent towards turf care books.
With SALTEX being held in November, the event organisers have decided that it would be unfair to open the competition to only that academic year’s intake (16/17). Therefore colleges may enter students who recently completed a qualification this summer (end of the previous academic year, 15/16).
It is free for the colleges to participate. Competitors will also have a proportion of travel expenses reimbursed and will be issued with free food vouchers to use within the SALTEX halls for breakfast and lunch.
Commenting on Ransomes’ decision to sponsor the competition, Karen Proctor, marketing and communications manager - international, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural SALTEX College Cup. As a company, we are always looking for opportunities to support different initiatives and we believe that investing in education and professional development is essential to the future of the turf industry.
“SALTEX is an excellent exhibition for people looking to forge a career within groundscare, and the introduction of the College Cup will be a fantastic way to reward those who are dedicated and passionate about the trade.”
GMA chief executive, Geoff Webb, was quick to acknowledge Ransomes’ support and believes it is another encouraging step in the right direction: “We are delighted that Ransomes has offered support for this new initiative, which alongside our other industry supporters who are similarly investing in the development of young people, means that with their up-front support, we can raise standards and encourage personal development - all of which fits perfectly with our overall strategy ‘From The Ground Up’.”
Dan Prest, the GMA’s learning manager, is also upbeat about the competition: “By bringing this new feature to SALTEX, the GMA is raising the level of academic professionalism in the sports turf industry while helping young people meet their career aspirations in the industry. SALTEX is a great learning environment for all visitors. There has already been a lot of interest from the colleges that the GMA works in partnership with, so I’m looking forward to an excellent and competitive event,” he said.
All colleges interested in participating in the SALTEX College Cup should email Dan Prest at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.