The Groundsman

November 2015

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GRASSROOTS 29 the Groundsman November 2015 Visit for more information and digital editions he IOG-led Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme (GaNTIP) has played a key role in enabling Hilton Harriers FC - a Derby-based football club that runs 30 teams, has 400 registered players and more than 70 coaches and volunteers - to improve its playing surfaces and acquire some much-needed new pitch maintenance machinery. The club has been working with Derbyshire County FA to develop and improve its two pitches, which historically faced drainage and maintenance challenges, and this led to engaging with the GaNTIP via The Football Association's (FA) Pitch Improvement Programme. The first step was for GaNTIP regional pitch advisor Tom Rowley to visit the club's Mease Pavilion site and carry out Performance Quality Standards testing on the pitches. Tom's subsequent report provided short and long-term recommendations, along with an annual maintenance programme, as T IOG leads pitch improvement programme for Derby club Success stories about the impact of the Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme on grassroots pitches throughout the country include a football club in Derbyshire By: Siobhan Eastham well as recommendations for the use of certain maintenance machinery. Volunteer groundsman Kevin Harlow – who commits several hours each week to looking after the pitches and was deemed Highly Recommended in last season's Groundsman of the Year Awards in Derbyshire - was also encouraged to attend workshops organised by the Derbyshire County FA and led by Tom; Kevin attended a workshop for Winter Maintenance and one on end-of- season preparations. With Tom's report as supporting evidence, Derbyshire County FA supported a funding application to The Football Foundation for the specialist machinery and Hilton Harriers was awarded £18,670 - 73 per cent of the total project cost, with the club working hard to generate a match funding contribution through fundraising. This funding enabled the purchase of a new Kubota tractor, a Charterhouse Turf Machinery Level-Spike 1700 slitter and a container for the machinery. Keely Brown, head of Strategy and facilities at Derbyshire County FA, said: "I would like to congratulate all involved at Hilton Harriers FC and in particular groundsman Kevin Harlow on their commitment to seeing this project through. The club now has high quality machinery to improve the pitches and you can see the positive impact the machinery is already starting to make in a short space of time. "Thanks also to The FA, the GaNTIP and Charterhouse Turf Machinery for their continued support of the Pitch Improvement Programme in Derbyshire. We have a number of clubs that have benefited from the programme and are currently working with others on funding applications. It is a great initiative and one that is making a huge difference to grass pitches in the county." Siobham Eastham is marketing & communications officer for Derbyshire FA l Hilton Harriers celebrate their new machinery, with Derbyshire FA, equipment suppliers and the Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme

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