0 FA sponsors MSc Scholarship for student

F.A. Scholarship for student on MSc in Sports Surface Technology

By Inga Wells

The Football Association (F.A.) has provided a one-year scholarship to the unique MSc in Sports Surface Technology course delivered by Cranfield University at Silsoe. The only Masters course of its type in Europe aims to provide a scientific approach to the construction, specification and maintenance of sports surfaces.

After much consideration, the scholarship has been awarded to full-time student John Lockyer, who previously worked in the golf industry in the UK and US as a Golf Course Greenkeeper. John is working closely with the F.A's National Facilities Manager, Steve Williams, on a range of projects, one of which is the durability and maintenance of new generation artificial turf pitches.

Steve reported "The F.A. is keen to support this particular MSc programme. We are aware that given the current demands on football pitches in England, high quality research, together with people who have a combination of excellent science and technical competence are crucial to the long-term development and ongoing understanding of sustainable facilities within local authority and education sectors, through to non-league and professional stadia."

Through undertaking the Masters programme, John is gaining a unique understanding of all elements of sports turf science and management. The MSc programme provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of plant and soil science, together with high level managerial skills. Such skills will enable John to not only contribute to the design, construction and preparation of sports surfaces, but also to undertake the financial and resource management of sports facilities.

"I was delighted to be given the opportunity to work with the Steve and the Football Association on such an important project. The Msc programme at Cranfield provides students with a broad range of scientific and managerial knowledge at the highest level. Being awarded the F.A scholarship has given me the chance to apply the skills I have developed whilst on the Msc. I can't think of a better way to grow personally and professionally than to complete a project that could potentially help the sports industry as a whole.

My career aspirations are to remain working within the sports surface sector and apply the knowledge I have learned during my time at Cranfield. I am also keen to broaden my management range into other sports surfaces. Without completing the MSc at Cranfield it would have been very difficult for me, being from a golf background, to have considered this move" said Cranfield student, John Lockyer.

Now in its second year, the MSc programme is currently recruiting full and part-time students for October 2003. The course has received support and recognition by a number of industry bodies and has visiting lecturers from leading sports facilities such as Ipswich FC and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

For further details of the course please contact the web site www.silsoe.cranfield.ac.uk. Alternatively, contact Student Enquiries on 01525 86 3319. For further information please contact Inga Wells, Marketing Manager on 01525 863321 or email i.wells@cranfield.ac.uk

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