The IOG recently hosted a meeting of leading agronomic practictioners, turf care consultants, interested bodies including the Sport and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) and ground staff at St Georges Park (National Football Centre) to investigate current practices and variations in approach to grounds management standards - covering professional through to voluntary/amateur level sport.
Within the meeting, IOG CEO Geoff Webb outlined the IOG Strategy, of which a key aspect is the development of a pitch grading framework. IOG Grounds & Natural Turf Improvment Programme national manager Jason Booth also provided an update on the work and progress of the national grassroots' programme.- funded by the Football Association (FA), the England and Wales Cricket Board. the Rugby Football League and Sport England. The group also heard from head groundsman John Ledwidge at Leicester City, Dr Colin Young from Labosport, Martin Ford - who has been heavily involved in developing Performance Quality Standards (PQS) for the sport of cricket - as well as Alan Ferguson - the FA's grounds manager, who oversees grounds management at St Georges' Park and Wembley Stadium.
The group will look at methodology and approach and how to establish a universal framework that is suitable and appropriate for every level of sport. The group will will meet again in June/July and will look to update on progress at the IOG's national SALTEX event at the NEC Birmingham in November this year.