The Groundsman

July 2014

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COMMENT 3 the Groundsman July 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions ne thing is for sure, turf is getting a high profile these days; the advances with worldwide TV contracts across sport are throwing turf management firmly into the spotlight. There is no doubt that the UK turf industry is hugely influential and plays a real role in the highest profile stadia around the world. With the recent World Cup, the Manaus pitch became the story of the first week. It was a very honest appraisal of the pitch by the groundsman, but the English and Italian teams both played down the issue and simply played good football. It is very difficult for those involved to comment especially when contracted to the organising body (FIFA), but having witnessed Andy Cole's presentation at last year's IOG Conference (Andy and the STRI team have been involved with the World Cup) we should give credit where due and overall the pitches are playing well. Despite all the problems in constructing stadia and getting supplies to them, Andy and the STRI team have done themselves and the UK turf industry proud. Back in the UK, we have our cricket groundsmen producing fantastic cricket wickets for the Test series with Sri Lanka, and our tennis groundsmen at all the grass court venues producing excellent surfaces. This industry and those that serve it do a fantastic job, often under the radar and frequently working unsociable hours. We have far more examples of excellence and success than failure; we have raised the bar so much which means expectations are far greater and when we have to face the media the result is understandably added pressure for those at the coalface. Regrettably, at grassroots level we have a long way to go to raise the standards of local community pitches, but the awareness and understanding of what is required and needed is starting to take hold. The Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme led by Jason Booth and his team is a clear step in the right direction. The governing bodies now involved are developing programmes and opportunities that the turf industry can benefit from. The profile, status and standing of groundsmanship is getting better. At the IOG we are looking forward as well and, as you can see in this edition, making the necessary recommendations to enhance our structures. We hope you will support us at our AGM at SALTEX in September where amongst thousands of products will be an excellent line up of groundsmen and women offering their expertise free of charge as part of the Ask the Expert clinics. SALTEX will also feature a great series of discussions and debates on turf care issues, so make a date and visit between 2-4 September at the IOG Hub. Also, don't forget that voting is open for this year's IOG Awards so do take the time and nominate (www.iogawards.com) the people and facilities you believe deserve an award. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, The Institute of Groundsmanship Looking forward O This industry and those that serve it do a fantastic job, often under the radar and frequently working unsociable hours. We have far more examples of excellence and success than failure; we have raised the bar so much which means expectations are far greater and when we have to face the media the result is understandably added pressure for those at the coalface " " Contributors Karen Maxwell Managing editor Colin Hoskins Features editor Val Graham Marketing manager, Fairways Sportsgrounds Paul Groves Product editor Dr Iain James Technical director, TGMS

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