Expanded Learning LIVE educational sessions announced for SALTEX 2016

Learning LIVE, the all-encompassing education programme designed for all sectors of the groundscare industry, has now been finalised and is set to be a major attraction at SALTEX 2016 on the 2 and 3 November at The NEC, Birmingham.

SALTEX 2015 featured 1,655 minutes of FREE seminars through the Learning LIVE programme and, off the back of its success, show organisers have commissioned an additional fourth lecture theatre to expand the number of presentations across the two-day event – to offer an even more exciting programme featuring a greater depth of content and quality.

This programme will provide grounds and open space practitioners across all disciplines – volunteer as well as professional, with a daily feast of FREE knowledge-gathering sessions. The sessions will take place in four dedicated Learning LIVE seminar theatres on the SALTEX show floor, and will include the added bonus of Young Groundsmen’s Conference sessions – which will focus on the needs of young people within the industry and will be hosted by industry experts and the Institute of Groundsmanship’s (IOG) Young Board of Directors.

Seminar Theatre 2 will be hosted by talkSPORT radio presenter Mark Saggers. This theatre will accommodate leading speakers from across the sports turf industry, as well as influential experts in major sports facility and event operation.

Karl Standley (Wembley Stadium) along with Alan Ferguson (FA group head of grounds and estates at St George’s Park) have been confirmed as Keynote speakers in which they will be starting procedures by presenting a seminar entitled ‘Rising to the challenges of modern-day stadia demands.’

Other expert speakers will include: Darren Baldwin head of playing surfaces & estates for Tottenham Hotspur who will provide an insight into the club’s new unique and innovative stadium; Dougie Robertson (West Ham United FC); David Roberts (Liverpool FC); Jonathan Calderwood (Paris Saint-Germain FC) and Reece Watson (Arsenal FC) in a discussion on the past, present and future of groundsmanship; David Roxburgh (Glasgow Rangers FC) and William Watson (Hamilton Academical FC) will explore what the future holds for Scottish football and Weston Appelfeller field manager for Major League Soccer (MLS) team Columbus Crew, will provide an interesting glimpse into groundsmanship in the USA.

From a rugby perspective, Barrie McDermott, head coach of Leeds Rhinos will be on hand to discuss the role of sports ambassadors in turfcare, while Jim Dawson and Alex Latto (BT Murrayfield); Tony Stones (Stade de France) and Keith Kent and Ian Ayling (Twickenham) will reveal the secrets of pitch performance at last year’s Six Nations tournament as well as look ahead to the 2017 event.

Other sessions include Wimbledon’s Neil Stubley (AELTC) who will discuss a new strategy for growing knowledge at grassroots level, while experts on a panel debate will focus on what impact Brexit could have on the industry.

Park keepers, landscapers, contractors, engineers, horticulturalists, those working for local authorities and councils, plus groundsmen who have responsibility for the upkeep of play equipment will benefit from attending sessions in Seminar Theatre 1, where seminar highlights include; Mark Hardy from the Association of Play Industries (API), who will present some thought-provoking evidence that contrasts UK planning policy for play provision with that seen elsewhere in the EU; Simon Rose from West Bletchley Council will reveal how local governments can work with partners to boost the quality of amenity services; the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) will stress the importance of adhering to the Sustainable Use Directive (USD) – with particular reference to sprayer testing requirements; Wayne Grills, chief executive of the British Association Of Landscape Industries (BALI) will highlight the importance of the structured card-based LISS/CSCS scheme and will introduce the audience to the BALI-NCF (BALI National Contractors Forum). The ever popular ‘Amenity Forum Question Time’ will also be taking place in this theatre which will see a panel of experts drawn from across the sector responding to audience questions on a range of topics regarding pests and diseases.

Sports turf and playing surfaces will be further explored through sessions within Seminar Theatre 3, with the likes of Steve Chappell, head greenkeeper of PGA Centenary Golf Course at The Gleneagles Hotel who will discuss thatch management in preparation for major golf tournaments; Caroline Davies from the Racecourse Association will provide an insight into grounds staff training at UK racecourses and Giles Roberts, estates manager at St Peters School will explain exactly what independent schools look for in producing the safest sports pitch facilities of the highest quality.

The Rigby Taylor and Top Green-sponsored Young Groundsmen’s Conference, which has been organised by the Institute of Groundsmanship’s Young Board of Directors will also be held in Seminar Theatre 3, and will offer a fantastic opportunity for young people looking to develop a rewarding career in groundsmanship. The Young Board of Directors, along with key industry experts, will be on hand to explore topics such as when is the right time to take on more education, how volunteering can help you stand out from the crowd and advances in turf care technology and how best to use it. It will also be a good opportunity to find out more about grounds management opportunities in different sectors and what they can offer.

Educational sessions in the newly added Seminar Theatre 4, will take a more scientific approach with the likes of Professor Andrew Thorley exploring whether rubber crumb really does pose a health risk; a panel including Alan Ferguson and Jason Douglass from S&C Slatter will be debating whether synthetic turf 2* is a threat to groundsmanship and Simon Gumbrill from Stadium Grow Lighting (SGL) will be looking at the technical advances in stadium management.

Many of the Learning LIVE seminars have CPD points connected to them. No pre-booking is required – simply ensure that you arrive promptly to make sure you get a seat.

To view the full Learning LIVE programme visit www.iogsaltex.com/learning-live-2/

Visitor registration to SALTEX 2015 is free.