The Groundsman

November 2014

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COMMENT 3 the Groundsman November 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions he IOG's enhanced Annual Salary Survey has been commissioned and now includes a more focused set of questions that are relevant to sports and professional leagues. These include increased emphasis on pay, benefits and workplace standards. The survey is totally anonymous and confidential with the responses viewed by Myriad Research, which will use the findings to compile a salary report. This will empower the IOG to further the case for pay and working conditions within the groundscare industry. The Football League, according to news reports, is to vote through an amendment to the rules to allow synthetic turf into competition. Previously the Football League did consult, which the IOG duly responded to at the time. At a September meeting the decision to allow synthetic turf into divisions 1 and 2 of the League was discussed and is set to be ratified in November. The Football Association has followed this announcement with its own strategic launch, placing great emphasis on synthetic turf pitches from an investment point of view. The IOG understands that in this day and age synthetic turf has a place but so, too, does natural turf and so, too, should groundsmanship. The IOG continues to stand by the standards of natural turf pitches and the skills of groundsmen – many of whom are IOG members - in producing top-class playing surfaces at all levels of the game, both professional and amateur. The fact is, the UK turf industry and centrally the groundsman is a major success story. This is prevalent throughout the Premier League, the Football League and the steps below. The potential to produce a fantastic pitch is clear to see at every level of the game, but is the message getting through? The skill of the groundsman is evident across the playing fields of all sports that have been the fabric of our communities for decades, but are our sporting institutions truly supportive of the groundsman or simply overlooking the profession that has served sport so well? The IOG continually makes representations, seeks dialogue and raises awareness whenever and wherever it can with regard to issues that affect groundsmanship. We want this industry to thrive, to be bold and dynamic. As with our recent announcement to move to a New SALTEX, indoors in Birmingham next year at the NEC we are always looking to improve and offer something new. The IOG has changed and is working on a number of fronts to improve understanding and awareness of this profession. For us to truly represent you we need members to promote our work and get active, and new members to join. Our National Conference 'Turf Matters' is a key opportunity for this industry to demonstrate how groundsmanship and turf is meeting the challenges of modern-day requirements, then the evening's awards ceremony (4 December at the stadiummk - home to MK Dons FC) will help to raise the profile of the outstanding work that's going on – day in day out - at sports venues across the UK. Hope to see you there. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, The Institute of Groundsmanship From salaries to synthetics, the IOG is working hard on your behalf T The IOG stands by the standards of natural turf pitches and the skills of groundsmen – many of whom are IOG members - in producing top-class playing surfaces at all levels of the game " " Contributors Karen Maxwell Managing editor Colin Hoskins Features editor John Moverley Chair of the Amenity Forum Paul Groves Product editor Richard Comely Director of global product management, Ransomes Jacobsen

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