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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

News & Features

From Pakuranga to Tokyo – see where a career in sports turf can take you

22 June 2020

Trellis image Ben Engels

If you’ve ever wondered where a career in sports turf can take you, Ben Engels can attest that it can take you quite literally around the world: last year Ben travelled to Japan to prepare and maintain the training field for the Italian, USA and Tongan teams for the Rugby World Cup.

Ben got started in sports turf on the advice of his school Councillor. While enrolled as a Gateway Academy student at college, Ben secured a placement at Pakuranga Golf Club. The work experience through Gateway confirmed that this was the career pathway he wanted to pursue. Ben completed his sports turf apprenticeship at the end of 2019, and now holds a National Certificate in Sports Turf Management (Level 4) earned through Primary ITO.

Ben advocates for on-job training and says that the benefits of learning as you earn is that, “you see it in real life, so you understand what you’re learning quicker. Block courses are really good, as you can ask questions directly of your tutor.”

Ben reckons there’s a lot more to sports turf than what you can see on the outside – and we reckon there’s not many industries where you can contribute on a global stage like the Rugby World Cup while completing an apprenticeship!

For more information on sports turf training, visit letsgrow.co.nz