#GroundsWeek 2023 kicks off: #GroundsWeek 2023 is officially underway, taking place from 20 to 26 March. The campaign, organised by the Grounds Management Association (GMA), recognises the work of turf care volunteers and professionals in the UK, as well as aiming to inspire more people to consider a career in the industry.
As part of #GroundsWeek, an event called Schools into Stadia will offer school children the chance to experience real life grounds management at a professional football club. Schools into Stadia will take place at Lincoln City’s LNER Stadium and include activities such as pitch line marking.
According to research carried out by the GMA, the industry is facing an impending employment crisis. Currently, 40% of the workforce is over 50 and, without an influx of new recruits, this could result in a significant employment gap within 5 years.
The GMA has also announced it will be launching the Grounds Management Framework (GMF) during #GroundsWeek, a new programme designed to support grounds managers to improve the quality of pitches and help make sport possible for more people.
It’s estimated that improving existing grass pitches would mean 1.4 million more children could play football and rugby each week and a further 489,859 children could play cricket each season.
Geoff Webb, CEO of the GMA, says: “#GroundsWeek is all about shining a spotlight on the invaluable contribution of grounds people up and down the country. We also want to inspire the next generation to get involved, and showcase what an amazing industry this is to work in.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Lincoln City for hosting Schools into Stadia, which will give school students the chance to experience the buzz of turf care at the highest level. And the launch of the Grounds Management Framework will be a game-changer for grounds people current and future – as well as the people who take part in sports.”
The GMA is encouraging grounds staff and sports clubs to support #GoundsWeek on social media and has created a downloadable toolkit to help, including graphics and a guide, available on the GMA website.
Sean Clixby is an award-winning volunteer grounds person in Lincolnshire. He says: “I’m really grateful to the GMA for highlighting the work of grounds people. All our hard work is often done behind the scenes, so it’s fantastic to see our dedication being brought to the attention of a wider audience, both inside and outside the industry.
“I’ll be supporting #GroundsWeek on social media, as well as sharing the campaign content the GMA puts out. The GMA has created a really useful toolkit that makes posting as easy as possible, available to download on its website. I urge others in the industry to show their support too, to ensure the work of grounds people is celebrated as far and wide as possible.”
To download the #GroundsWeek tool kit, go to: thegma.org.uk/groundsweek
For more information about #GroundsWeek, keep up to date with all the latest content by following the GMA on social media:
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