The Groundsman

March 2016

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Visit for more information and digital editions Tuesday A 7am departure for the Tour on Wheels visiting sporting venues around San Diego. I share the journey with Charles Brown from Milwaukee. He runs an initiative that helps under-privileged kids and it was great talking about how he works at that level and the problems he has – not only with the playing surfaces but also with the children he mentors. We visited a very large sports area with 24 soccer pitches that accommodate non-stop soccer every weekend. The facility is maintained in a clinical fashion using a large range of machinery - no walk behinds, but it appears nobody uses walk-behinds in the US. Next up was the Jewish Academy where one man maintains the soccer and baseball fields, and he takes great pride in the maintenance of these surfaces – exceptional when one considers that he works only when the Jewish religion allows him. Next stop was the Del Mar race track and its dirt and turf surfaces. The track manager talked us through his regimes, including dealing with a removable crossing. Last stop is Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres baseball team. The field was being prepared for a monster truck event. I managed to catch the last presentation of the day at the MLS conference by the FC Dallas grounds manager. Wednesday Lots of conference presentations today; met up with Ian Lacy, formerly the IOG education guru and now a Boston-based consultant, and with Tony Stones (ex-Wembley Stadium) who revealed he will soon be enjoying a spell at the Stade de France. STMA Diary Jason Booth, national manager of the Grounds & Natural Turf Improvement Programme, provides an insight into the busy STMA schedule The day ends with a meeting with the STMA committee who share their new five-year strategy. Thursday At the conference for an 8am start with the presentation by SGL's Simon Gumbrill – full value, as always. Friday Another 8am start at the conference for a two-hour soccer panel hosted by Pam Sherratt. Sunday Time to leave this amazing event (and place) where every conversation and visit has been about promoting the IOG and looking at aspects that could potentially make the IOG and SALTEX better. Some significant contacts have been made, and some exciting and positive announcements will be made soon! l STMA CONFERENCE REVIEW 26 the Groundsman March 2016 Pam Sherratt (centre) receives her 2015 IOG Outstanding Contribution to Groundsmanship award from Ian Lacy (left) and Jason Booth Many Major Soccer League (MSL) groundsmen attended STMA By: Jason Booth

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