The Groundsman

August 2015

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Visit for more information and digital editions IOG BEST PRACTICE 33 the Groundsman August 2015 clearly highlighted the team's practical and 'scientific' adeptness at pitch management and maintenance – "there's a wealth of products readily available to help keep playing surfaces in pristine condition and, importantly, to 'feed and encourage' root mass", says Ian - what was also clear was Ian's enthusiasm about the need for groundscare knowledge to be readily passed on to help youngsters entering the industry; to effectively 'fast track' their learning curve. A lifetime's experience Ian has more than 36 years' experience in the horticulture/amenity sector [18 years] and sports surface industry [he was at Wigan AFC's training ground, Christopher Park, before moving to the stadium]. "I love 'teaching'; passing onto to our younger generation my experiences about the day- to-day care of playing surfaces," says the 51-year-old. "It's hard enough for youngsters to get into the industry especially at professional sports level, because in relative terms there's not that many opportunities – though the aims and aspirations of the Young IOG Board's Get Into Grounds initiative must be applauded. But for those who do, I feel it is essential that established, experienced groundsmen should pass on whatever knowledge they have. "For my part here at Wigan, both Tony and Robert know I constantly watch the weather; if it's not right I will leave a job until it is right because I know you can often do more damage to the playing surface by rushing things. And I've lost count of how many sheets of printouts concerning humic and amino acids, for instance, that I've passed onto Robert and all the apprentices/trainees we've had both here at the stadium and at the training ground." 261 tonnes of fibresand He continues: "Our fibresand pitch (with undersoil heating) stands up well to the heavy usage. This has been helped undoubtedly by our overseeding of Barenbrug RPR and BAR 7 which we introduced last year after having only a four-week window for renovation. t Ian Forshaw: "Established, experienced groundsmen should pass on their knowledge" In season 2013/14, the pitch was used 53 times: 29 football games and 16 rugby

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