The Groundsman

April 2012

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the Groundsman April 2012 As we build up to the Olympics it is interesting to see how the Games will likely affect the long term legacy of UK sport. Some say sport will never have a better opportunity to raise its profile and state its case; others question the spend, the viability and indeed whether the only legacy will be increased debt and more expense for the taxpayer. Six years ago, the IOG set out to raise the profile, status and standing of groundsmanship in the UK. Our 'Challenging Perceptions' strategy was launched at the same time the announcement was made that we had secured the London Olympics and Lord Coe rejoiced. But - and this is a big but - has anything to do with groundsmanship in the UK changed for the better? Despite our efforts, we are still fighting hard to place groundsmanship into a more prominent position within the many sports we service. In the public sector, we are witnessing the slow and steady decline of local facilities, many of which could be turned around if those in power started looking at the basics required to keep a playing field up to a standard people would enjoy. Grassroots football relies heavily on the public sector with an estimated 80 per cent of playing fields, where the facilities are under-invested and there is a real threat of closure. The evidence is of asset transfers, and the obligation to manage such facilities is being passed over under the banner of The Big Society to sports clubs and societies. Our amateur sports clubs rely almost totally on volunteers to run them, yet many clubs are under increasing pressure to find people willing to perform this role. What emphasis is being placed on grounds management alongside sports development plans, coaching structures and all-encompassing equity policies? I would suggest that governing body thinking on sports turf management is some 15 years behind the coaching structures now in place for grassroots sport. So, the Olympic Games will probably not alter the fact that we have many more challenging years ahead to get the message across that groundsmanship is integral to the outcome of sport. There are many examples of good practice and many of our members will be extremely busy preparing the training and Games venues the athletes will use. There will be no medal at the end of the event for our members, but let's hope that in part at least there will be recognition (if not reward) for the sports surfaces that are produced during this landmark event. As for the legacy, well as the Olympic Park is taken down and shipped to Brazil! (this applies to the basketball arena), it is hoped that UK Sport and Sport England will look seriously at the level of funding and the approach to funding available to grassroots sport. Will 2012 be the year that the Olympic legacy finally recognises groundsmanship? The IOG will certainly continue to lobby, to promote and persuade others to 'get into groundsmanship'. COMMENT 3 CONTENTS 3 4-10 11 12 13 14-16 18 19-22 24-29 31-32 34-35 36-39 Comment Industry News Branch Updates IOG Training IOG Young Board of Directors IOG Board Report IOG AGM Minutes IOG Abbreviated Accounts Feature - WEM-BER-GLEE! Feature - The battle for the rhizosphere Technical Update - Irrigation Feature - Les Gibbs: the groundsman's groundsman 40-43 44-46 47-50 Product Showcase - Pedestrian Mowers Feature - STRI sets the standard Technical Update - Artificial Surfaces Maintenance 51-53 Geoff Webb Chief Executive, Institute of Groundsmanship 57-59 Editorial address: 28 Stratford Office Village Walker Avenue Wolverton Mill East Milton Keynes MK12 5TW Tel: 01908 312511 MANAGING EDITOR Colin Hoskins Tel: 01634 832 221 IOG MEMBERSHIP AND GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01908 312511 MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS Sue Fernandes Tel: 01908 312511 SUBSCRIPTIONS £65 UK £76 Europe £105 Rest Of World 55 56 Maintenance Calendar - May & June Weather Recruitment Classifieds DESIGN TSP Media Gemma Brownhill Tel: 01952 234 005 ADVERTISEMENT SALES TSP Media Paul Hawkins Tel: 01952 234 000 The Groundsman is published bi-monthly by the Institute of Groundsmanship. All material is copyright of the Institute of Groundsmanship and may not be reproduced without permission. The publishers do not accept responsibility for any advertisement appearing in the Journal and cannot be held liable for editorial omissions or errors. The views expressed in the Journal are not necessarily those of the Institute of Groundsmanship. et al

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