The Groundsman

December 2014

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COMMENT 3 the Groundsman December 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions 015 will herald a new beginning for the IOG's SALTEX, which will be staged at a new venue – at the NEC Birmingham, on a new date - 4-5 November. Such a decision is bound to be one that will provide opportunity for much comment and debate. We know that many enjoyed Windsor and so did we, for the past 33 years. Often though, what does not get mentioned in despatches is the risk the IOG takes each year putting such a show together. Before any exhibitor is signed up, as organisers of the event, we are trading on the past year's reputation and the show's reputation over time. Simply having listened to a range of views of the industry and acting on findings from our own research we have reacted positively and made a radical and bold decision. The NEC will herald a new era and approach. It will be different and we are intent on delivering a great exhibition. Linking this with our successful awards and conference will add to the event effectively creating a national focus for groundsmanship, all within the best connected indoor exhibition venue in the UK. There are many people past and present who have contributed to the success of SALTEX. The many exhibitors that add the colour, the vitality and the product. The visitors who add the camaraderie and the buzz to the event. The many journalists and associated media who bring opinion, reports, stories and promotion and awareness. We look forward to seeing you all at the NEC in November. This brings me to one of the most successful teams I have seen working in sport - the SALTEX site team, led by Derek Walder. This team of groundsmen, all enthusiastic volunteers, deserve great praise and respect for all they have contributed to SALTEX at Windsor and it is great that Derek and the team will be once again heading up the operations aspect of SALTEX at the NEC. Team spirit engenders success and we are already witnessing the impact of a new team of regional pitch advisors led by Leeds Rugby's former head groundsman Jason Booth. Working with Sport England, The Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Rugby Football League, the Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme team delivers advice and guidance to the multitude of sports clubs across these sports - raising the profile and sharing knowledge of sports turf management. Pay, reward, recognition, education, opportunity, budgets, new technology, emerging trends all affect how effective you can be in preparing today's surfaces for tomorrow's players. There is insecurity but there is also increasing recognition now for the expertise the profession provides. Of course we face challenges. We must continue to open up opportunities for young people and present a great industry that encourages young people in the first place. Our Young Board of Directors has grown and expanded and continues to look at new and innovative ideas and opportunities to motivate people looking to enter the industry. We have created a new IOG Board structure to concentrate on the sectors where groundsmanship is found and to break down the issues by sector to take us forward on a more focused and informed basis. There is change, there is challenge. Our aim and focus through training education and awareness will be to continually raise standards to rise to new challenges and deliver excellent results. We are up for the challenges ahead. Have a great 2015. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, The Institute of Groundsmanship A new beginning 2 Team spirit engenders success and we are already witnessing the impact of a new team of regional pitch advisors led by Leeds Rugby's former head groundsman Jason Booth " " Contributors Karen Maxwell Managing editor Colin Hoskins Features editor Robert Donald Managing director, Twyford Twenty Paul Groves Product editor Chris Gray IOG head of education and training

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