The Groundsman

December 2012

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28 INTERNATIONAL TRAINING & EDUCATION the Groundsman December 2012 The Colombo Racecourse rugby ground IOG expertise exported to Sri Lanka Sri Lankan grounds professional Trevor Nugawela spoke to Colin Hoskins about his ambitions to establish IOG best practice groundsmanship and training in South Asia When Sri Lankan grounds professional Trevor Nugawela joined the IOG in 2007, he had two things on his mind: to gain the skills and knowledge he needed to transform Sri Lankan playing surfaces into the best in South Asia and to boost the image and professionalism of the country's groundsmen. The former tea planter who moved into grounds consultancy in 2000, says he started to formulate his strategy when he joined the IOG. He lost no time in gaining a Level 2 accreditation in Sports Turf Management and took the IOG Cricket Intermediate and Advanced short courses. "Joining the IOG gave me access to a tremendous fount of UK knowledge, including the institute's Turf Advisory Service and combined with my Level 2 studies it meant a real step forward in my approach to groundsmanship," he says. "This learning experience has already paid big dividends in my work – particularly at what are now two major rugby grounds – but it was not until this The pearl of the Indian Ocean Often referred to as the 'pearl of the Indian Ocean', Sri Lanka is situated off the south-eastern shore of India. Spread over an area of approx 65,525 km2, the country boasts of being a modern industrial economy that has one of the highest per capita incomes in South Asia. • Sri Lanka gained independence from the UK in 1948 and became a republic in 1972 • Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before 1972 • Tea was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1867; rubber in 1876 – Sri Lanka is now one of the world's leading exporters of tea • The Sri Lanka cricket team became World Champions in 1995 • Rugby was introduced by British tea planters in 1865. After 26 years of civil war (which ended in 2009) Sri Lanka embarked on a rapid programme of development in its main cities and urban areas – including the development of sports grounds to international standards. This progressive move was initiated by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense, the Hon Gotabhaya Rajapakse. Indeed, Mr Rajapakse has also been instrumental in the redevelopment of a rugby ground for Ananda College, the largest college in Sri Lanka. More recently, the Rugby Ground at the Colombo Racecourse site has also been transformed into international standards (under Trevor's Nugawela's guidance), thanks to the direction of the Secretary of Defense.

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