The Groundsman

July 2012

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26 FEATURE the Groundsman July 2012 Inspiring new 'customers' As the world prepares to settle down this month to enjoy the Olympics, Colin Hoskins highlights one legacy programme that will also undoubtedly impact groundsmanship on a global scale While in pure groundsmanship terms, the legacy of the Games in the UK may focus on the improvements made to the playing surfaces at, for example, the Olympic football training venues (see The Groundsman April 2012), there is another – major – aspect of the Olympic movement that should benefit playing surfaces globally, albeit indirectly. Part of the London 2012 bid, the International Inspiration programme pledged to reach young people all around the world and connect them to the international power of the Games so that they are inspired to choose sport. The original vision was to involve 12 million children in 20 countries by the start of the Games; in fact, a year ago, 12 million children and young people in 17 countries had already been reached! The programme – delivered as a partnership between UK Sport, UNICEF and the British Council – aims to use the power of physical education, sport and play to enrich the lives of millions of young people of all abilities. The programme works with local communities, teachers, coaches and governments to improve children's lives and give them the chance to take part in sport and play. Included among the specific achievements of the programme to date is the use of sport to educate more than 1.5 million children in Zambia about issues such as AIDS and HIV. Of course, the core value of International Inspiration is to inspire change and to enrich young people's lives, using sport and play as the vehicle. But, in doing so, it is clear that a high number of youngsters will continue to be so enamoured by sport – any and all sports - that they will undoubtedly continue as sports people. This in itself should mean that, in the future, there will be a steady flow of participants for sports on either natural or artificial playing Warm-up work Smith Construction (Heckington) completed an extensive £1.4 million construction project of the Olympic warm-up track and infield, complete with throws D, external hard standings, fencing and associated works. The project included an 8-lane, 400 m Mondo surfaced running track, including associated drainage, sub base construction and macadam civils works, as well as the building and installation of long/triple jump runway with landing pit areas, high jump facilities, Paralympics throwing circle facilities, pole vault runways and associated landing areas. Also installed was a natural turf infield area including soil profile build up, surface water drainage, turf installation and irrigation system. The site mirrors the stadium track in respect of lane bend radii setting out. surfaces. Whatever the surface, the skill and expertise of the groundsman will continue to be in demand the world over! Olympic sports covers Stuart Canvas, a leading manufacturer of bespoke sports, commercial and industrial covers, was appointed to design, manufacture and install covers and screens for a number of Olympic venues and events – for the 400 m BMX Track – and covers, tents and vet screens for the equine events at Greenwich Park. As the existing provider of Wimbledon's tennis covers, the company has also been tasked with servicing the covers and other on-court furniture after the Championships, ready for use in the Olympic events, while also having a full team in place for the duration of the event.

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