I have finished up my summer in Europe with trips to London and Paris with my family. In total, I traveled to ten different countries and met hundreds of turf professionals along the way. This trip was an incredible experience.
My adventure with Campey Turfcare enabled me to visit some of the world's most famous sporting venues, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Wimbledon, Wembley Stadium, and St. Andrews. On each stop, I got to pick the brain of the groundsman and learn a bit about how they are able to achieve success on each of their outstanding grounds.
With Richard Campey on my first day at work.
We carried out pitch renovations in Finland, Denmark, England, and Hungary and showed hundreds of groundsman our method of maintaining a high quality, safe playing surface.
I became familiar with all of the Campey machinery.
While I learned quite a bit about turf, my education didn't stop there. I can now say that I withstood the heat of a Finnish sauna and the immediate icy cold of the Baltic Sea, drank a pint (or more!) of Guinness in Ireland, and ran with the bulls in Spain. I also drank about a thousand cups of tea and survived driving on the left side of the road, among many other things.
I want to take the time to thank a few people, without whom this experience would not have happened.
First, thank you to Richard Campey for giving me the opportunity to work and learn all summer. Not just learning about turf either! Also thank you to Mike O'Keeffe at Ohio State. Mike put me in touch with Richard and was someone I could rely on throughout the whole process.
I also want to thank Julia Campey, who worked tirelessly to set up my whole trip and was always there to help. Another is Ian Campbell for providing me with a place to stay more than a few times! Thank you also to Brian O'Shaugnessy, Richard Heywood, Lee Morgado, David Stonier, John Campey, and Max Lomas for showing me how things are done at Campeys.
First renovated pitch of the summer - Helsinki, Finland
The last renovated pitch of the summer- Budapest, Hungary
I made memories and connections that will last a lifetime and all of those people above are to thank. It was the best summer of my life and I will never forget it! If you want to keep up with what I am doing, you can follow me on Twitter @jefflenihan. Mostly turf stuff, with some Nebraska football tweets in there as well!
One final thank you to Jon Kiger and Peter McCormick at TurfNet for giving me the opportunity to write this blog all summer. I hope some of you found it enjoyable and learned a few things as I did! Thanks for following along!