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Before joining the Grounds and Natural Turf Improvement Programme, Ian had been contracted by the IOG, from 2008, as the regional advisor for the North of England, a role which included Ian working closely with the ECB regional facilities and investment manager – to improve and support Groundsman Associations across six counties. He was also an ECB county pitch advisor for the Lancashire Cricket Board and an IOG instructor.
His role included developing and delivering the IOG’s training and education programme, which included many training courses at all levels including the County Football Associations and the Rugby Football League, and assessing work-based diplomas. Ian has also delivered training and education to more than 200 school students.
Previous to his IOG role, Ian held the position of head groundsman (March 1983-July 2008) at Middleton Cricket Club, a member of the Central Lancashire League, being responsible for decisions made regarding both playing area and equipment required for the maintenance and the improvement of the playing surface. He managed and allocated all work and supervised all ground staff or contract labour when required.
In May 2008, he gained a Foundation Degree in Sportsturf Science (Myerscough College); in 2007 achieved his IOG senior award Licentiateship in Sportsturf Management as well as the A1 assessor’s award for assisting, advising and assessing work-based diploma students. In that year Ian also started an IOG pilot scheme for training in schools - teaching and assessing the pupils of Ashton-on-Mersey school for the IOG’s National Practical Certificate. Following a successful pilot, the project ran for four years and he trained over 150 students.