IOG delivers updated winter pitches course

IOG Learning recently held a successful Level 2 Winter Pitches (Applied Turf Culture) course at Nottingham Forest Football Club - delivered by trainer Chris Gray. A key benefit, delegates were able to carry out Performance Quality Assessments of the pitches, recording the data for reflection, as part of the course’s aim to identify opportunities for improvement in effective maintenance regimes.

There was a lot of ground covered (excuse the pun), challenging delegates to reflect on their maintenance input, in particular the timings of activities, ground conditions, reasons for their actions and the application of chosen materials. The need to question why, how, what and when were key themes of the day, and delegates were continually quizzed on - if they were making the most of available resources and whether the most effective and efficient practices were being applied.

(Image features delegates undertaking pitch assessment) 

Chris Gray, says "There was an excellent contrast between the expectations and outcomes of a training, grassroot and professional stadia pitch. All types of pitches have similar challenges, but with different perspectives."

Ewan Hunter, the club’s head groundsman, provided delegates with a detailed insight into his role, highlighting some of the challenges that he and his team face in maintaining the surface and soil. Indeed, considering the age of the stadium pitch and the available resources, especially when compared with many other clubs, it is clear that the pitch is being managed to an exceedingly high standard.

Indeed, considering the age of the stadium pitch and the available resources, especially when compared with many other clubs, it is clear that the pitch is being managed to an exceedingly high standard. With additional investments into the pitch, who knows what further positive impacts this could have on the team!

(Image features attendees and trainer after training course) 

Attendees said they particularly liked the course’s "practical, hands-on opportunity" of assessing the condition of the playing surface to better understand the need for data collection, and the discussions that followed. In addition, another welcome comment was that “the course is relevant to everyone's requirements, being very good. Chris had excellent knowledge of the subject”. The IOG is continuing to upskill its trainers and this is a positive reflection of the investment it is continuing to make in helping to spread the learning message to the wider grounds care industry.

Following this success, the IOG is now looking to increase the delivery of the updated Level 2 Winter Pitches course and the follow on, Level 3 Winter Pitches (Advanced Turf Culture), focusing on the management of winter sports pitches

For more information about an IOG Learning course, email learning@iog.org, or call 01908 312511.