GMA sets the standards for natural turf sports surfaces with launch of Grounds Management Framework

Ollie Swanin Association News

The Grounds Management Association (GMA) has officially launched the Grounds Management Framework (GMF) at an event hosted at Lord's Cricket Ground and attended by key industry personnel, including GMA members and representatives of the National-Governing Bodies.

To support the sporting industry in better understanding how to maintain natural turf sports surfaces to the best possible level, as well as presenting grounds management as a viable career path, the GMA has developed the GMF, a set of standards for natural turf sports surfaces.

With the quality of playing surfaces directly impacting the standard, and amount, of sport played on them, the GMF shines a spotlight on the importance of grounds management to sport. It does so in a way that is simple to understand for people outside of the industry, like club chairmen and directors.

Developed by the GMA and experienced Sports Consultant, Tim Nicholls, the GMF combines long-standing Performance Quality Standards with relevant skills and knowledge.

Backed by National-Governing Bodies, the easy-to-use framework will determine whether users are at a 'basic', 'good', 'advanced', 'high', or 'elite' level and will ensure that those responsible for pitches are aware of the characteristics, resources, skills and knowledge required for their playing surface, and how to progress to the next level.

The framework is already in use on the Football Foundation's revolutionary web app, PitchPower, in addition to the GMA's training programmes, where courses and qualifications have been aligned to the levels of the GMF.

Speaking about the framework, GMA CEO, Geoff Webb says: "The Grounds Management Framework has been in development for a long time and has been a big focus for us as an organisation, so it's great to finally see it launched officially.

"The grounds management industry already employs around 26,000 people, with over 37,000 part-time volunteers, but more are needed if we are to keep up with the demand for sport. We need 1000 people a year to join our sector to keep up with demand, but we know that, with improved surfaces, almost 2 million more children will benefit.

"Our work is focused on getting the best for the industry and highlighting the hard work, knowledge and skill that goes into making sport possible - this framework will make it clearer for people inside and outside of the industry, from club chairman to stadium managers, to understand what it takes to prepare playing surfaces at all levels and will better support matching training and experience to quality of playing surfaces."

Playing a key role in the development of the framework, Sports Consultant, Tim Nicholls says: "The Grounds Management Framework has taken a lot of work and time to get it to where it is today. Although it's just been launched, it's already playing an essential role in innovative new strategies to improve our pitches, through programmes like PitchPower - I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes our industry, and its place in sport, over the coming years."

The Grounds Management Framework is free-to-use and is targeted at grounds staff, grounds managers, club committees, and senior management at all levels including community clubs, local authorities, education, and professional sports clubs.

For more information and resources about the Grounds Management Framework, please visit:

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