The Groundsman

July 2015

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COMMENT 3 the Groundsman July 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions ost membership organisations are expected to make their voices heard in the 'corridors of power'. But many, particularly the smaller ones, feel they do not have the resources to be effective in raising their sector's profile in Parliament. Equally, larger associations are often criticised for not doing enough. The IOG has to consider a wide cross section of views, then try and make sense of them all in order to put forward salient and persuasive arguments on your behalf. Since we launched our Challenging Perceptions strategy we have consistently looked at the subject of advocacy/how do we represent you and your interests. A range of subjects and issues challenge all of us but two of these have hit the headlines recently. One is pesticide legislation - the creeping impact on working practices of this European-wide legislation. The IOG, alongside a range of bodies, provides funds directly to the Amenity Forum so that a unified approach is taken as we seek to influence and lessen any negative impact on our members. Indeed, the annual Amenity Forum Conference takes at Leicester City FC on 15 October and I would encourage you to attend. Also, the comprehensive education programme being planned for this year's SALTEX in November – an exhibition that will showcase everything that is great about our industry and complemented by a gala industry awards night - will include two key sessions on the subject, including the Forum's popular 'question time' style debate. The other subject that probably gets more airtime than any other is the ongoing debate regarding synthetic and natural turf, as most recently highlighted by the Women's World Cup where there has been a mixed reaction to synthetic playing surfaces. The advances in 'turf' technology are being embraced by the highest echelons of football and it appears that the compromise between those arguing between synthetic and natural turf is the use of reinforced turf systems, where there are new products emerging. Alongside this, there are ever-present discussions on third generation artificial pitches with rubber crumb granules, coupled with the replacement/recycling at the end of the carpet's lifespan. Whether we're talking natural, reinforced or synthetic, one thing for sure is that the profile, status and standing of the groundsman is not diminished in any way. This, indeed, was (and still is) a central pillar of our strategy – a strategy that sees the IOG committed to ensuring that our industry is well-reflected, understood and respected. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, The Institute of Groundsmanship Representing your interests M Whether we're talking natural, reinforced or synthetic, one thing for sure is that the profile, status and standing of the groundsman is not diminished in any way. This, indeed, was (and still is) a central plank of our strategy " " Contributors Curtis Allen Redexim Charterhouse business manager Chris Bennett SALTEX press officer Will Graves IOG Young Board chair Dave Roberts Kubota managing director Richard Fry Rigby Taylor marketing director Karen Maxwell Managing editor

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