The Groundsman

October 2012

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Page 27 of 51

28 FEATURE the Groundsman October 2012 'Extreme groundsmanship' in Coventry Those who work at major sports venues may encounter times when they play a part in an event which will endure long in the memory. It might be a cup fixture or an international match, or a music concert or, indeed, an Olympic event. We report on the recent 'extreme groundsmanship' experiences of John Ledwidge, Grounds Manager at the Ricoh Arena For many grounds managers, long summer renovation windows have become a thing of the past as stadia increasingly host more than just home fixtures to increase revenues. The situation has also created a group of groundsmen and contractors who are highly skilled at managing the transition between events and surface renovation within challenging timeframes. This summer, some played their part in 'the greatest show on earth' as sports venues across the country hosted the Olympics – and John Ledwidge, Grounds Manager at the Ricoh Arena and member of the Young IOG Board of Directors, was one of them. John had to adopt a very different approach to his renovations this year, but then this has been no ordinary summer at the Ricoh Arena, as it hosted a Coldplay concert on May 29 for a record audience of 40,500 people, followed in less than eight weeks by 12 Olympic football matches. The pitch was Koro'd off week commencing May 14 before being seeded with Everris' smooth stalked Chris Martin, Coldplay Photo: Coventry Telegraph

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