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Unveiling of RoviMo at Manchester City

Unveiling of RoviMo at Manchester City: The GGM Group have hosted the prestigious UK unveiling of a ground-breaking Cylinder Cassette Mower for Professional Sports Turf.

The event, which was held at Manchester City FC Training Ground, showcased the RoviMo robotic mower for sports turf, saving potentially thousands of man hours in the maintenance of sports fields and stadiums.

Unveiling of RoviMo at Manchester City

Unveiling of RoviMo at Manchester City

The day was attended by several Premier League football clubs and highlighted a real game changer for the maintenance of professional sports turf and a glimpse of the future as guests which included Groundsman from a number of other premier league football clubs, turf advisors and professionals had the opportunity to see the machine in action and speak to the manufacturer first-hand.

The RoviMo is the world’s first intelligent electric vehicle capable of mowing patterns autonomously according to the guidelines of national football associations, UEFA, or FIFA, precisely and over the shortest distance, horizontally, vertically and with chessboard pattern, at the touch of a button. Supervision of the mowing process by an employee is not necessary.

Operated simply and efficiently remotely via an app, RoviMo® can also be used for mowing other large green areas, and will be developed to be utilised by golf courses. RoviMo® is a multifunctional equipment carrier, which will be able to carry out other work processes such as maintenance of artificial turf, line marking and various other labour-intensive tasks.

GGM Group Sales Andy Melville explains more:

“The event was a huge success, and we were thrilled to unveil the RoviMo to some of the UK’s leading football clubs at such a superb venue, where our guests were given a real glimpse of the future. RoviMo is the future of turfcare and it adds state of art technology to our portfolio, allowing us to offer customers the next generation of intelligent mowers.

“We are thrilled to have been involved from the early stages of development of these new innovative machines; they are the perfect addition to our product range as we continue to grow in the sports ground sectors”.

RoviMo is currently in its final stages of development and the event provided an opportunity for industry professionals to see the pre-production prototype first hand and meet the manufacturers in person, as well as having a two-way dialogue on the many ways in which it will benefit the industry.

Daniel Lewis from Manchester City said:

“The event was a great success and the new machine certainly lived up to expectations. The quality of the cut and the neat finish are essential boxes that needed to be ticked, and the RoviMo did just that.

“The fact that the attendees from other clubs were willing to offer comments freely on future development of the machine demonstrated that the interest is there. The machine could benefit the industry by saving on the continuous labour of grass cutting, allowing staff to get on with the more intricate demands of the job.”

The GGM Group announced they have signed a distribution agreement with Swiss manufacturer Ronovatec back in January this year.

The GGM Group, based in Colne, Lancashire, has a rich heritage and proactively seeks new solutions on an ongoing basis. The new deal with Ronovatec marries perfectly with its strong values of professionalism, innovation, and providing progressive solutions that support its commitment to work towards carbon neutrality.

Andy Melville continued:

“Over recent years there has been a trend for turfcare professionals to increase their green credentials and RoviMo not only offers this but achieves reduced cost and increased efficiency simultaneously. A fully charged RoviMo will mow circa 16’000 m2 in 5-6 hours depending on pattern and terrain, all without employee supervision of the mowing process and saving many man hours. In addition, RoviMo® is fully electric, CO2-free, and autonomous with low noise pollution and is therefore ecologically sustainable and economically unbeatable. It’s a win-win for the customer and the future of sports turf maintenance has never looked more exciting”.

A video of the event can be viewed on the GGM Groundscare YouTube channel or by using:

https://youtu.be/Xo48htmG_pA

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The unsung hero of Wales’ national pitch

The unsung hero of Wales’ national pitch: Lee Evans has taken to the field vastly more times than the likes of Alun Wyn Jones or Gareth Bale. Yet, unlike those A-list names, the 52-year-old is the unsung hero of Wales’ national pitch.

Read the full article from Wales Online here

The unsung hero of Wales' national pitch

The unsung hero of Wales’ national pitch

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No weed out of reach

No weed out of reach: Campey Turf Care Systems latest innovation, the AIR Trolly Pack from Dutch manufacturer WeedControl BV brings the hardest to access weeds into reach.

The Honda GX120 motor with compressor powers the LPG/propane 3x15kw hot-air burner head with an adjustable operating temperature between 190°C – 290°C. The small footprint of the trolley and burner means it can easily access hard to reach areas such as around poles, along walls and road edges, under street furniture and in narrow street passages and alleys where weeds consistently grow. The AIR Trolly Pack is also ideal for inner-city areas and the after-treatment of larger weed removal projects.

No weed out of reach

No weed out of reach

Flame weeding is a very effective and environmentally friendly way to remove weeds against alternative methods such as potentially harmful herbicides. Most annual and some perennial weeds can be eradicated using a flame that essentially explodes the weeds’ cells, turning them into ash. This ash then mixes with the soil or disperses with no harm to other plants while there is no risk of drift onto other areas, which can be common with chemical applications.

WeedControl has explored all health and safety concerns associated with working with a flame during the development of the product. Special attention was paid to the ease of operation to ensure that any user can safely and easily operate the machine. All WeedControl products are made to meet legal requirements when working in public and private areas and impact the environment as little as possible with a focus on sustainability.

The AIR Trolly Pack can be optionally supplied with a hot-air bin at the front side. This is equipped with a 3x15kW hot-air burner head. For this, the AIR Trolly Pack is modified at the front side for stability.

For more information or a demonstration of the AIR Trolley Pack, contact Campey Turf Care Systems.

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Head of Sports Grounds

We are seeking to recruit a talented, experienced and knowledgeable individual into the role of Head of Grounds at Stratford Sports Club. The Club boasts over 1400 members across seven sports – cricket, squash, boxing, snooker, tennis, hockey and athletics. Our club welcomes a wide range of people from across the area, with the beautiful surroundings and clubhouse being the heartbeat of our community.

Head of Sports Grounds

Head of Sports Grounds

This fantastic opportunity gives the successful candidate the chance to manage and develop our excellent cricket (x2) and tennis (x4 needlepoint and x3 clay) facilities and surrounds.

Job Description

You will lead the management of Stratford Sports Club cricket, tennis, general grounds and recycling team. You will lead a team undertaking both responsive and planned maintenance duties, executing workmanship to a high standard. You will proactively manage your team assisting all others in order to maximise the efficiency of the department as a whole.

The role will be key in delivering a culture of continuous improvement, and through high standards of service, enhancing the member and community experience.

In addition, this role will manage the grounds team to ensure tasks are carried out in accordance with Health & Safety legislation, and will oversee the development and training of this team.

As Head of Grounds, you will report to the Director of Operations on a day-to-day basis. Have regular contact with the Director of Cricket and Tennis and the Head Coaches of Cricket and Tennis, as and when required.

Key Responsibilities

  • Preparation of playing surfaces to ECB & MCCL Premier League Standard
  • Be proficient in assessing, managing annual and general maintenance of all sports playing surfaces.
  • Continually seek improvement and efficiency of service provision
  • Be proficient in assessing, managing and where necessary completing general maintenance of gardens/grounds (e.g. grass cutting, tree and shrub maintenance, hard and soft landscaping works, weeding, pruning seasonal bedding displays & decorations, recycling activities, clearance of litter, snow, ice and leaves and any general gardening duties, maintaining acceptable productivity outputs and quality of workmanship in accordance with industry practices
  • You will have overall responsibility for safe working practices, maximising productivity, ensuring the quality of the workmanship, reporting activities and all personnel management aspects of the Grounds teams
  • You will ensure that appropriate training is identified and implemented for the team, motivating staff to continually develop their skills. You will provide advice and guidance to direct reports and undertake development reviews and manage your team positively and provide leadership in your area of responsibility in order to ensure maximum contribution by your team.

You will contribute towards estates budget management by:

  • Monitoring and reporting on compliance with agreed budgets
  • Contributing towards decision making processes in relation to plants and equipment
  • Maximise efficiency in all material purchases
  • Endeavouring to maximise efficiency in all departmental purchasing
  • Reporting in detail and accounting for all expenses
  • You will develop, deliver and maintain strategies allowing maximum efficiency at minimum cost in relation to:
  • Transport
  • Plants, equipment and tools

Materials expectations

  • You will analyse, monitor, evaluate and strive to improve the performance of all staff and procedures managed by you
  • Undertake duties in accordance with established Health and Safety regulations and University Health and Safety policies including the assessment of risks relating to the works to be undertaken. Lead and monitor all activities within area of responsibility ensuring team compliance with all Health and Safety requirements
  • Ensure your team deliver on all ground’s activities in relation to special events e.g. sports awards and garden parties/outdoor events
  • You will have overall responsibility for contractor management within your area of expertise and effectively manage their service provision in terms of quality, effectiveness, value and health and safety. You will also ensure that your team engage positively with external contractors
  • Lead the development of improvement and maintenance regimes throughout the estate
  • Lead collaborative discussions regarding improvements to service delivery or efficiencies
  • Manage you and your team’s time efficiently and effectively
  • Ensure grounds maintenance teams undertake maintenance requests
  • Engage and interact with management systems as required
  • Maintain excellent housekeeping within all aspects of your areas of responsibility.
  • Participate in all relevant training courses as and when required.
  • Assist with the identification of potential energy saving initiatives
  • Drive Stratford Sports Club transport as required
  • Liaise and work with other professional and trades personnel as required
  • Operate a personal radio/communication equipment as required
  • Ensure you are up to date on the latest Health & Safety legislation and be able to manage all aspects of H&S including risk assessments
  • Be a self-motivated, independent thinker with a strong team ethic
  • It is essential that the successful candidate holds a full driving licence.
  • This role will involve working some evenings and weekends.

Special Requirements:

Due to operational requirements, there may be occasions when the role holder will be required to work overtime.

On occasion you may be required to attend emergency call outs.

Please note that this job description is not exhaustive, and the role holder may be required to undertake other relevant duties commensurate with the grading of the post.  Activities may be subject to amendment over time as the role develops and/or priorities and requirements evolve.

ATTRIBUTES ESSENTIAL DESIRABLE
Qualifications ·         Good general education

·         Relevant technical qualifications e.g. craft/city & guilds/NVQ Level 3/HNC

·         Desirable

·         HND/NVQ 4 or degree in relevant technical area.

·         Equipment Certification (e.g. forklifts, tractor etc.)

·         Relevant health and Safety Qualification (e.g. IOSH, NE)

·         Enhanced horticultural qualification above NVQ3

·         Management qualification

 

Experience & Knowledge

 

 

 

 

·         Previous experience of working to tight deadlines

·         Several years’ post qualification experience

·         Extensive experience of successfully managing staff in a similar role

·         Extensive knowledge of relevant Health and Safety legislation and demonstrable experience of day-to-day implementation of Health and Safety practices

·         Previous experience of implementing and operating grounds maintenance schedules.

·         Excellent IT knowledge and awareness, particularly in relation to Microsoft packages

·         Previous experience of successful budget management

·         Previous experience of analysing and reporting of team activities

·         Experience of working with and developing skills of apprentices

·         Demonstrable previous experience of continuous improvement processes

·         Environmental and ecological experience related to estates management

·         Excellent knowledge of multi-sports team playing surface requirements and related sports surface maintenance regimes

·         Good general awareness of and previous experience of successful recycling processes and practice.

 

Competencies and skills ·         Excellent knowledge of horticultural principles and gardening operations

·         Excellent knowledge of vehicles, horticultural machinery/equipment

·         Ability to work on your own initiative

·         Effective planning and prioritising skills, as an individual and for a team of people

·         Excellent team leader

·         Full valid driving licence

·         Excellent problem-solving skills

·         Excellent customer care skills

 
Personal Attributes & Competencies ·         Flexibility in working hours to meet operational need

·         Ability to work outside in difficult terrain; lift heavy tools; work under pressure in order to deliver outcomes to demanding deadlines

·         Excellent attention to detail

 

In return we will offer you:

  • a competitive salary for the right candidate
  • 25 days annual leave
  • 6% contributory company pension scheme
  • a supportive and professional working environment
  • an annual salary review
  • 10% discount for food and drinks at the Bar/Restaurant

If you think you have what it takes to succeed in this role. Please submit your cover letter and CV to bessevans@stratfordsport.co.uk by Thursday 9 September 2021. 

We reserve the right to bring forward the closing date if we receive a large number of suitable applications.

At Stratford Sports Club people are at the heart of what we do and drive our success. We embrace diversity and actively seek to attract people with unique backgrounds and perspectives. We believe that an inclusive, collaborative workplace is pivotal to our success and supports the potential and growth of all employees.

Type:
Permanent

Hours:
45 hours per week, working any 5 days from 7 by arrangement with your Manager. Working weekends as required.

Getting to the roots of sustainability

Getting to the roots of sustainability: Back in April, users of ‘turf Twitter’ bore witness to the effect extreme weather has on the sports turf industry.

A combination of 22 days of ground frost, record levels of sunshine and the fourth driest April on record made the preparing playing surfaces exceptionally challenging. Predictably, May was a washout with relentless heavy rain falling across most of the country.

Getting to the roots of sustainability

Getting to the roots of sustainability

Weather extremes add additional pressures and keep sustainability and climate change issues high on the industry’s agenda. The most commonly described approach to sustainability in turfgrass management is a reduction in inputs, such as fertiliser, fungicides and water, but grass breeders at Barenbrug have given turf managers the ability to underpin their sustainability strategy with Sustainable Grass Technology.

The result of years of specialist breeding, significant investment from the global leader in turfgrass seed production, and numerous independent and in-house trials, grasses in SGT blends have been bred to excel in one or more of four key areas of research;

  • nitrogen use efficiency to reduce fertiliser use and cost
  • drought tolerance to increase survival and reduce the need for irrigation in stress periods
  • increased disease tolerance to reduce fungicide use
  • lower clippings yield to reduce mowing frequency, labour and fuel consumption

“Our breeders had the foresight to anticipate the industry’s needs. These grasses have, in some instances, been decades in the making,” explained Dr David Greenshields, Barenbrug UK’s Amenity Commercial Manager.

“Our aim is to give turf managers all the desirable characteristics that help them meet the demands of the modern game, with minimal inputs, and for surfaces to retain their health, vibrancy and resilience under extreme conditions, such as drought or heavy wear. For turf managers looking to reduce their inputs and all the associated costs without compromising turf quality, using grasses specifically bred for that purpose and proven through independent testing is the ideal starting point.”

SGT’s breeding objectives led to the development of Barprium, a perennial ryegrass cultivar that has set a new benchmark for nitrogen efficiency.

Trials conducted at the STRI from 2016 to 2018 focused on identifying which perennial ryegrass varieties use lower levels of nitrogen most efficiently to deliver acceptable turf quality.

It compared the performance of seven of Barenbrug’s existing high performing perennial ryegrass cultivars against the new cultivar.

When low levels of nitrogen were applied to all cultivars, all performed to a good standard throughout the trials, but Barprium showed greater quality and coverage, even with a 50% nitrogen input. The other seven cultivars all ranked highly in the BSPB Turfgrass Seed Listings, making Barprium’s performance even more impressive.

Strong summer colour in Barprium has also proved an asset to the blend for low input golf fairways.

“SGT Rye Fairway is a great example of our global breeding and trials resource delivering excellent regional solutions. The fi ne fescue cultivars in the mix were selected for their sustainable performance characteristics,” explained David.

“Hardtop hard fescue and Barjessica strong creeping red fescue performed particularly well in periods of heat and drought.

Data from fi ne fescue performance trials conducted in 2018 showed that turf quality of hard fescue was unrivalled during the intense heat and drought of a memorable summer, and the recovery capacity of Barjessica was exceptional. The selected cultivars also provide excellent resistance to Red Thread – perfect for low nutrition fairways.”

David is urging Course Managers to consider the significant benefits of hard fescue on fairways.

“The summer of 2018 bought into sharp focus the situation turf managers face during lengthy periods without rainfall. Hard fescue has been used successfully on the continent, in the US and in Australia where summers are hotter and drier than ‘typical’ ones in the UK.

“It is the default species where there is no irrigation, which demonstrates its natural drought tolerance. It is also resilient and more nitrogen efficient than red fescue, and modern cultivars produce high quality turf.

“It currently makes up 50% and 20% of our two SGT mixtures, and I believe it will play a greater role in the long-term management of medium-fi ne turf with low maintenance requirements.

For new constructions and full renovations, sustainability starts with sowing the right cultivars. For established turf, overseeding with these new cultivars can enable the sward to adapt over time to provide additional resilience when and where it’s needed most.”

Pitmen mourn loss of groundsman

Pitmen mourn loss of groundsman: Hednesford Town have paid tribute following the death of their head groundsman Dave Bates.

Read the full article from Express and Star here

Pitmen mourn loss of groundsman

Pitmen mourn loss of groundsman

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Implementation of new regulations

Implementation of new regulations: The Official Controls (Plant Protection Products) Regulations 2020 (OCR) were recently issued with a policy statement. These apply to the whole of Great Britain and supplement existing regulations that govern the sale and use of plant protection products or PPPs. The Northern Ireland Executive has put in place its own legislation implementing and enforcing official controls for PPPs.

Defra have now issued further guidance on how the regulations will be implemented especially in relation to those organisations needing to register by the 22 September. The release states:

Implementation of new regulations

Implementation of new regulations

‘’There is a single notification process for Great Britain operated by DEFRA. Operators must complete a notification if they import, manufacture, process, distribute PPPs authorised for professional use, adjuvants or PPP ingredients; including active substances, safeners, synergists and co-formulants.

To notify, operators should complete the simple form that is now available on GOV.UK. Guidance on how to notify that your business imports, manufactures, processes, distributes or sells professional plant protection products has also been published’’

The Amenity Forum, representing the sector,  has been in dialogue with Defra on all matters relating to this as well as the development of the new National Action Plan relating to weed, pest and disease management, which is due to be published soon.

The new OCR regulations are in place to:

  • allow regulatory authorities to enforce legal requirements that apply to the placing on the market and use of PPPs throughout the supply chain
  • explain the action enforcement authorities can take where non-compliance is identified or suspected

The 2020 Regulations also apply to components of PPPs such as active substances, synergists, co-formulants and to adjuvants.

Under the Regulations, businesses concerned with the placing on the market of PPPs authorised for professional use, and/or the placing on the market of components of PPPs are required to notify competent authorities of their details and business activities by 22 September 2021. This includes businesses that produce, manufacture, process, import, distribute and sell those products. Information will be requested about company details and contact information, product types, storage and capacity.

Similarly, all users of PPPs in a professional capacity will need to follow a similar process by 22 June 2022. Further information is to be provided for these businesses over the coming months. The HSE will operate controls and enforce the 2020 Regulations in Great Britain, taking a proactive, risk-based approach. It is also expected that Local Authorities will have a role. Enforcement of existing PPP regulations will remain unchanged.

Defra, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are finalising the details of the control programme. These will be provided in communications over the coming months and as said earlier the Amenity Forum has already engaged with all involved in such discussions. As further information comes available, the Forum will issue further releases.

A key element of the Amenity Forum conference will be a focus on policy change and how it impacts on the sector. The conference is to be held at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton on Trent on October 21st. Registration for the conference and associated exhibition is now open and further information can be obtained by contacting Kate at admin@amenityforum.net . Given support from the sector, this allows ticket price to be maintained at 2019 levels of £95 with early bird discounts for registrations prior to September 1st.

Professor John Moverley, Chairman of the Amenity Forum, said ‘’this issued policy statement is highly significant for our sector. However all operating to professional standards has nothing to fear and such controls chime well with the introduction of the UK Amenity Standard, providing full assurance to all involved that organisations are meeting requirements seeking to create safe and sustainable amenity and sports spaces fit for purpose.

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Trilo S3 takes command of leaf clearance

Trilo S3 takes command of leaf clearance: The 18 holes at Hertfordshire’s prestigious Centurion Club explore pine-lined fairways and woodland that pose a challenge to players and greenkeepers alike.

One of the biggest problems for Course Manager Andy Garland and his team was, as the parkland course matured, so did the task of autumn leaf-clearance. That was until the club purchased a Trilo S3 vacuum sweeper from Vanmac two years ago, which has since been described as ‘fundamental’ in retaining the presentation, playability and health of the course.

Trilo S3 takes command of leaf clearance

Trilo S3 takes command of leaf clearance

Established in 2013 and renowned for its immaculate course condition, the Centurion Club has proudly played host to a number of high-profile tour events, most recently the first round of the inaugural Aramco Team Series in July. “The summer is all about presentation and tournament preparations and then we we’d get to the autumn and find ourselves faced with an ever-growing problem with leaves” explains Andy, who has been at the club for the last 15 years. “When the laborious task was becoming unsustainable by hand, we looked at the Trilo.”

“Having heard good things, we had a demonstration of the S3, fitted with the brush shaft, and it was evident straight away how it was going to absolutely transform the task for us.” Working at a convenient 1.5m wide, the Trilo S3 weighs in at only 1200kg making it suitable for compact tractors of 35HP+.  The full-floating brush head and low ground pressure, allows the machine to work under the heaviest of conditions, with hard-to-reach areas – in and around trees for example – cleared with convenience and ease thanks to the 6m wander hose.

“The S3 is in action every day during leaf-fall season, picking up leaves – both wet and dry – cleanly in one pass and collecting them in the large capacity hopper which we can then dispose of elsewhere around the course.” To convert the S3 into a year-round tool, Andy also has his sights set on the optional Verticut shaft which can be mounted to the unit in a matter of minutes, converting it into a quick and effective method of scarifying large areas such as the fairways.

He concludes, “From an agronomic perspective, the benefits of keeping the surface clear to allow for maximum airflow, sunlight and moisture movement are well documented. But, back to basics, there’s no question that the S3 has been fundamental in keeping certain areas of the course playable, and that in itself is invaluable.”

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Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists

Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists: After a year’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards are returning for 2021, with the search on to find the country’s best up-and-coming greenkeepers.

Each year the awards enable BIGGA, the UK’s only membership association for golf greenkeepers, to work alongside turf maintenance equipment manufacturer Toro and distributor Reesink Turfcare to celebrate the next generation of talented and dedicated greenkeepers.

Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists

Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists

A record 49 nominees from across the United Kingdom participated in regional interviews. These candidates were nominated by their employers or colleague tutors and from those candidates a final 12 have been chosen to contest the grand final this September.

For the first time, the finals of the awards will take place at Celtic Manor Resort, providing an incredible backdrop to the event and giving the opportunity for the finalists to learn more and be inspired by the maintenance of the championship venue.

September’s event will be the 32nd staging of the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards and just the fifth time the Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award, open to greenkeepers aged 21 or under, will take place. To be eligible to take part, candidates must be registered on a qualifying greenkeeping qualification and must be nominated by their course manager or college tutor.

The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists are:

  1. Leon Brant, assistant greenkeeper at Wexham Park Golf Club
  2. John Le Cappelain, apprentice greenkeeper at Royal Jersey Golf Club
  3. Daryn Curtis, greenkeeper at Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club
  4. Matthew McCreadie, greenkeeper at Daventry & District Golf Club
  5. Matthew Milligan, first assistant at Rudding Park Golf Club
  6. Michael Russell, greenkeeper and ecology manager at Preston Golf Club

The Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year finalists are:

  1. Rhian Barton, apprentice greenkeeper at The Wisley Golf Club
  2. Greg Manson, apprentice greenkeeper at Mortonhall Golf Club
  3. Callum Marjoribanks, apprentice greenkeeper at Mortonhall Golf Club
  4. Ross McKie, apprentice greenkeeper at St Andrews Links
  5. Will Pallister, apprentice greenkeeper at Cleckheaton & District Golf Club
  6. Cameron Shanks, apprentice greenkeeper at Bothwell Castle Golf Club

The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year winner will receive an eight-week all expenses-paid scholarship to America when restrictions allow, including a six-week residential turf management study course at the University of Massachusetts, a trip to the Golf Industry Show in San Diego, California, and a visit to Toro manufacturing facilities.

The Toro Young Student Greenkeeper of the Year winner will receive a work experience placement at the exclusive Vidauban Golf Club in southern France. They will also receive a trip to Continue to Learn at BTME and enjoy a five-night package that includes hotel, four days of education, travel and £125 expenses, plus a Toro training voucher.

Sami Strutt, head of learning & development at BIGGA, said: “I was delighted to learn that a record number of student greenkeepers had been nominated for this year’s award, especially after the challenges of the past year. For so many employers and tutors to recognise the commitment of the students, despite the difficulties we have all faced, is testament to what a wonderful industry we are working in. There can be no better introduction to the greenkeeping community than a nomination for these awards and, these 12 finalists should be incredibly proud of everything they have achieved thus far.

“Taking place in the grand setting of Celtic Manor Resort, this year’s finals will be unlike any other and I can’t wait to meet everyone this September for what stands to be a wonderful few days. My thanks go to Toro and Reesink Turfcare for their continued support and also thanks go to everyone who took part or nominated a candidate this year.”

David Cole, Reesink Turfcare managing director and award sponsor, said: “From the interviewing process to identify our finalists, we can take that the greenkeeping profession continues to be in bright and focused hands. Reesink Turfcare and Toro’s long support of this educational award is constantly rewarded by the enthusiasm, career passion and commitment to personal development that we come across every year. That is the significant element that sustains these long-standing, career-enhancing awards.”

The Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year finals take place at Celtic Manor Resort on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 September 2021.

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Start of a “strong new chapter”

Start of a “strong new chapter”: The turfcare industry reunited for the first time in over 18 months at the Warwickshire Event Centre as the inaugural Festival of Turf took place beneath clear blue skies.

With live music playing on a grand stage and ample opportunities for networking, the exhibition brought a celebratory festival feel, aided by clear sunshine and warm weather.

Start of a “strong new chapter”

Start of a “strong new chapter”

COVID protocols helped to ensure the health and safety of those in attendance and the festival provided a platform for more than 40 exhibitors from across the turfcare industry to showcase their latest innovations and products.

Among the highlights of the event was John Ledwidge, head of sports turf and grounds at Leicester City FC taking to the grand stage for a Q&A session hosted by Martin Smart of Turf Business, who were official media partners for the event.

Also taking place was the presentation of the BIGGA Excellence in Communication Award sponsored by Campey Turf Care Systems, which saw James Bledge, course manager at Royal Cinque Ports, awarded the top prize for a thought-provoking feature he produced on the use of bunker rakes.

Across the two-day event delegates from across various sports and amenity disciplines came through the doors of the Warwickshire Event Centre, bringing a buzz and energy back to the industry that had sadly been missing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all the exhibitors who signed up to support BIGGA and its members at what we hope is the beginning of a strong new chapter for the golf and wider sports turf industry.

Start of a “strong new chapter”

Start of a “strong new chapter”

“There was a tremendous atmosphere as visitors and suppliers came together face-to-face for the first time in 18 months and the overriding feeling was one of optimism. While visitor numbers were not as high as hoped for, those who did attend engaged meaningfully with the exhibitors and reconnected with friends and peers. It was scorching hot, which potentially kept some people away, but the combination of exhibition, live music, refreshments and fantastic weather brought a brilliant sense of occasion to the event. Our thanks go to everyone who came along and rekindled old friendships, struck new deals and enjoyed being together after so long apart.

“Our attention now turns to BTME, taking place this coming January, when the exhibition will return to the Harrogate Convention Centre for the first time since 2020. We have a massive education programme planned and we are incredibly excited about the return of our flagship event. We hope to see you there.”

BTME will take place at the Harrogate Convention Centre on Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 January 2022. Visitor registration is due to open this autumn. There will also be the return of in-person learning as BIGGA’s world leading Continue to Learn education programme returns to the venue on Sunday 23 to Wednesday 26 January 2022.

You can watch and embed a video from Festival of Turf here: https://vimeo.com/577988216

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