The current situation certainly feels as though we have moved from a 'defeat Covid-19' status to one where we must 'live with it for the foreseeable future'!
With so much uncertainty surrounding the industry shows, it makes us question when the turfcare fraternity might be able to get together again. There was a recent survey asking whether we would be more comfortable with an outdoor show, and the findings suggested this is the case, but it remains uncertain whether large gatherings at all will be permitted over the next year - not only across our industry, but for concerts, weddings, funerals and such like.
Chatting to interviewees over the past couple of months, it's good to hear that most venues have unfurloughed staff and are now busy preparing sport across all sectors. However, the pandemic will no doubt continue to have an impact in terms of renovations, budgets, purchasing new machinery etc. and there are still interesting times ahead to see how our industry adapts.
One thing that hasn't changed is the 'blame' culture and criticism groundstaff receive from the media. Not least recently when Liverpool legend Graeme Souness bizarrely blamed the Reds' poor performance on the state of the pitch, claiming that Villa groundstaff had left the grass longer in order to slow the visitors' speed of passing. Villa groundsman Eddie Mills defended the comments as uneducated and insulting to all the massively hardworking groundsmen up and down the country, who put their hearts and souls into their proud work! Well said Eddie.
From one legend to another, it is with great sadness that we report the retirement of our Operations Director John Richards on page five of the latest Pitchcare magazine. Many of you will be aware that John turned from legendary Wolves player (who still retains the title of second-highest goal tally of all time, with 194 goals), to co-owner of Pitchcare with Dave Saltman. I've personally worked alongside John for over seven years and he has offered support, understanding and many laughs along the way. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for encouraging my career development and wish him well. He doesn't escape entirely though, as we have convinced him to continue his expertise within the editorial department on a freelance basis.
Also, in our latest issue, we have an interesting article on Scotland's Rural College and their practical teaching experience utilising Elmwood Golf Course. At one end of the spectrum, it's great to hear facilities such as this are actually visiting schools and educating youngsters on what our industry can offer. However, at the other end, it's hard to grasp how many industry jobs have been, and will continue to be, lost in the coming months. Stay safe and positive.