The Groundsman

March 2014

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Meeting the grassroots challenge t takes less than 30 seconds of being in Jason Booth's company before you appreciate the seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm that exudes from this former professional cricketer turned award-winning groundsman. And it is immediately obvious that this exuberance will soon be impacting a raft of sports clubs throughout the country now that Jason has been announced as national manager of the sports bodies and IOG- funded Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme. The exciting new initiative between the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), The Football Association (FA), The Football Foundation and Sport England is designed to raise the standards of sports surfaces by providing grassroots and Jason Booth enthuses over the challenges he's determined to overcome in his new role as national manager of the NGB & IOG's grant funded Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme. Colin Hoskins reports volunteer groundsmen and women with guidance and advice to increase the understanding of sports turf management practices for football, cricket and rugby at sports facilities. The programme, which co-ordinates industry, funding providers and NGBs, provides a strong infrastructure of support to the public and voluntary sectors during a time of financial austerity while also providing links to Sport England's Protecting Playing Fields award recipients – via the provision of post-contract support, advice and guidance. The programme will also: • Enable players to access the best possible facilities in their local community • Reduce the likelihood of cancelled matches and training, thus helping economic viability I By: Colin Hoskins • Maximise potential opportunities for growth locally • Build sustainable relationships at a local, regional and national level across sport. Regional Pitch Advisors The programme is headed up by Jason who will have a team of eight regional pitch advisors covering the north west, north east & yorkshire, west midlands, east midlands, south west, south east, east and greater london. They will liaise with the national governing bodies and will report directly to Jason and to the IOG's Regional Advisory panel. The programme builds on the work of the IOG's network of regional advisors established five years ago with a grant from the ECB, whose number, with the additional funding now available, will be expanded to eight full time RPA across England. IOG BEST PRACTICE 18 the Groundsman March 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions t

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