The Groundsman

July 2013

Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/141804

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 2 of 51

COMMENT the Groundsman July 2013 3 Enough Is Enough A Contributors s I write this column, I have just spent the last 24 hours dealing with the outcome of a handful of sports stars making comments about a sports surface. This time it's tennis, and specifically Wimbledon, that's been the focus of worldwide media attention. Seven players fell on day three of this year's tournament and suddenly the grass is to blame. When a player with worldwide appeal says "these courts are dangerous," then the world's media jump at the chance of an attention-grabbing headline. Forget the fact that some players admitted to playing with injuries coming into the tournament, while others stated publicly there was nothing wrong with the courts, the damage was done. Personal reputations and our profession are on the line in such situations – even though, by day three of the tournament, more than 200 matches had been played without incident. " Across sport, our talented groundsmen and the wider industry that support quality turf care, is crucial to the success of sport itself... So we should not be defensive, but proud of who we are and what we Karen Maxwell Managing editor Colin Hoskins Features editor Russell Seymour Sustainability manager at Lord's Richard Fry Rigby Taylor's marketing manager do for and on behalf of sport " Wimbledon head groundsman Neil Stubley and his team bore the brunt of the media attention, and they coped admirably. To the credit of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, it backed the grounds team and issued a strong statement regarding the preparation of the grass court - challenging the notion that the courts were somehow different to the year before. Like Neil, we have many world-leading groundsman at grounds that are in the glare of media scrutiny and the global explosion of TV coverage, the internet and social media can make the impact of any story that more immediate. This increasing pressure is something that our members need to understand and prepare for. So who might be next in the firing line? Will our cricket groundsmen come under similar scrutiny with the forthcoming Ashes series? Across sport, our talented groundsmen and the wider industry that support quality turf care, is crucial to the success of sport itself. Whether it's the centre court at Wimbledon, the pitch at Wembley or the cricket wicket at Lord's, the quality of the playing surface reflects professional expertise and application. So we should not be defensive, but proud of who we are and what we do for and on behalf of sport. Although sports facilities at local level may not attract national media attention, they too are tended by dedicated individuals (paid or volunteer), who produce quality sports facilities week in week out. These sport surfaces enhance community life and allow the sports stars of the future to develop their skills. Here lies a different challenge, as many grassroots sports facilities face increasingly tight budgets for on-going maintenance and I believe that governing bodies can and should do more to support clubs through sports-ground management programmes. We salute all who work in this industry and will support you wherever possible when adverse comments threaten to undermine our professionalism and continual strive towards turf care excellence. Players will come and go, but our sports venues have quality surfaces that are the envy of the world. And our groundsmen, who so often go unnoticed, play a leading and vital role in the outcome of sporting success. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, Institute of Groundsmanship Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Groundsman - July 2013