Clubs from across Gloucestershire and Somerset were welcomed to Oaklands Park for a Groundskeeper Workshop on Monday, 20th November. A few expert speakers, including our partners The Pitchmark Group, were on hand to share advice and answer volunteers’ questions.
GFA Football Development Officer Hamish Hurst opened proceedings with a brief overview of our strategy to support Clubs with their pitch improvements, including looking at the amount of funding Clubs can apply for through the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund and how to access it.
“This was our first groundskeeper event for a little while and it is something we are keen to do more of as we look to help Clubs improve their pitches. It was a fantastic evening and we were able to provide the volunteers in attendance with some great insight and advice from such knowledgeable experts”, said Hamish.
Hamish then handed over to Ash Hendrickx-Nutley of the Grounds Management Association (GMA). Ash is responsible for reviewing PitchPower submissions across the South West, using his wealth of experience as a groundskeeper to make maintenance and improvement recommendations based on the state of pitches. Ash spoke about some of the actions that can provide Clubs with the best “bang for their buck” including deep tine aeration and overseeding.
Finally, we welcomed our partners The Pitchmark Group to discuss different linemarkers and types of paints. We explored their Pitch Price Calculator, looking to save Clubs money by showing that what seems to be the most affordable paint may not actually be the cheapest option for marking out pitches. The volunteers were able to ask questions and we hope that all in attendance learned a thing or two that they can take back to their Clubs.
Steve Bailey, Regional Account Manager at The Pitchmark Group: "We were delighted to see everyone at the workshop, and the event reinforced our commitment to collaborating with our partners and supporting the dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes," Bailey said. "Our mission isn't just to provide the right products and services. It is our goal to empower groundskeepers by giving them all the necessary knowledge and create a greater understanding of best practices by offering our support whenever possible."
William Ledbury, Digital & Content Marketing Executive at TPG: "Thanks to the buy-in and support from our County FA partners and the Grounds Management Association, we successfully delivered our first workshop which now gives us a solid foundation to build on for future events in 2024," Ledbury expressed. "Monday night's session was about educating local clubs on who we are as partners and how we can better support grassroots sports turf, and at the next event, we are looking to demonstrate our products, services, and support in an outdoor environment at a local Gloucestershire or Somerset-based club."
The GFA would like to thank the entire Pitchmark team, as well as Ash from the GMA, for giving up their time to help our clubs. Most of all we would like to thank all the volunteers in attendance for the enthusiasm shown as well as their commitment to improving pitches in our County.
If you would like more information about pitch improvements then please get in touch with Support@GloucestershireFA.com